fra·​ter·​ni·​ty | \ frə-ˈtər-nə-tē How to pronounce fraternity (audio) \
plural fraternities

Definition of fraternity

1 : a group of people associated or formally organized for a common purpose, interest, or pleasure: such as
a : a fraternal order
c : a men's student organization formed chiefly for social purposes having secret rites and a name consisting of Greek letters
d : a student organization for scholastic, professional, or extracurricular activities a debating fraternity
2 : the quality or state of being brothers : brotherliness
3 : persons of the same class, profession, character, or tastes the racetrack fraternity

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Examples of fraternity in a Sentence

an atmosphere of fraternity and cooperation a firm believer in community service and a dedicated member of the local fraternity of Good Samaritans

Recent Examples on the Web

Yes, there was a real discussion around the impact within our legal fraternity. Kayla Webley Adler, Marie Claire, "Meet Jacinda Ardern, Prime Minister of New Zealand," 23 July 2018 This vaccine is particularly good to consider if your child goes to college and lives in tight quarters, like a dorm or a sorority or fraternity house. Woman's Day, "Everything You Need to Know About Vaccines for Teens," 25 Feb. 2018 Tim Piazza was injured in falling down a set of basement steps, after which fraternity members made inept and even counterproductive efforts to help him. Mark Scolforo, The Seattle Times, "Anti-hazing law in Penn St. student’s name goes to governor," 15 Oct. 2018 In February 1960, the fraternity members saw an opportunity to lead their own demonstration. Matthew Haag, New York Times, "An Alabama Sit-In in 1960, an Apology and the Lifetimes Between," 30 May 2018 Eight fraternity members initially were charged with felony aggravated assault and misdemeanor involuntary manslaughter in his death, but a Centre County judge dismissed those charges. Susan Snyder,, "Tougher penalties for hazing likely in Pennsylvania," 18 Apr. 2018 The woman, identified as Melissa Lenz by KFOR-News, allegedly entered the Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity at Oklahoma City University on Sunday through the front door, which was unlocked. Madeline Farber, Fox News, "Oklahoma woman arrested after she allegedly burglarizes, defecates in fraternity house: report," 28 Sep. 2018 Apparently, back in October 2016, three people were shot at a nearby gas station parking lot after a private party hosted by a black fraternity at the Cypress Inn was shut down. Breanna Edwards, The Root, "'We've Had Problems With Your Kind Before': Black Frat Files Racial-Discrimination Lawsuit Against Alabama Restaurant," 5 July 2018 Photos also emerged of members of the Sigma Nu fraternity at another party earlier this year wearing ribbed tank tops, gold chains and bandannas. Hailey Branson-potts,, "After blackface incident, minority students at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo say they don't feel welcome," 25 Apr. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'fraternity.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of fraternity

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for fraternity

Last Updated

17 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for fraternity

The first known use of fraternity was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for fraternity



English Language Learners Definition of fraternity

: an organization of male students at a U.S. college
: a group of people who have the same job, interests, etc.
formal : the feeling of friendship that exists between people in a group


fra·​ter·​ni·​ty | \ frə-ˈtər-nə-tē How to pronounce fraternity (audio) \
plural fraternities

Kids Definition of fraternity

: a club of boys or men (as in a college)

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Comments on fraternity

What made you want to look up fraternity? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a strong desire or propensity

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