fra·​ter·​ni·​ty | \frə-ˈtər-nə-tē \
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

b : guild sense 1

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

More than two dozen members of Piazza’s Beta Thea Pi fraternity at Penn State were arrested, but all felony charges, including manslaughter, were eventually dropped. Frank Miles, Fox News, "Greek life leaders and parents of hazing victims join forces to save lives," 12 Sep. 2018 According to prosecutors, Gruver was pledging to join the fraternity Phi Delta Theta back in September 2017. Cyrus Farivar, Ars Technica, "Prosecutor: Suspect must give up his phone’s passcode in fatal hazing case," 24 Aug. 2018 Membership into Oozma Kappa is open to everyone so grab ALL your friends and rush the best fraternity at Monsters University. Tamara Fuentes, Seventeen, "36 Halloween Disney Costumes You And Your BFFs Can Pull Off," 16 Aug. 2018 The Kappa Sigma fraternity at the University of Wisconsin-Madison has been temporarily suspended after a video that went viral showed a woman nearly being hit by a falling television at a party. Karen Herzog, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "UW suspends Kappa Sigma after woman nearly hit by falling television at party," 5 July 2018 Tau Kappa Epsilon said in a statement Monday that the fraternity and its Omicron-Rho chapter at Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas, removed six members from the organization Friday, the news station reported. Crystal Hill, star-telegram, "‘Let them die’: Texas frat drops members after ‘hateful’ messages about immigrants, officials say," 25 June 2018 Most of them remained standing as Arizona’s Patrick Corbin went to work against one of the most feared hitters ever witnessed in the pitching fraternity. Bruce Jenkins,, "Giants: No complaints about Madison Bumgarner’s sharp comeback," 5 June 2018 In the negotiations with Fox, his lawyer was a former fraternity brother whose specialty was divorce, not commercial contracts. James R. Hagerty, WSJ, "Andre Blay Jumped Into the Nascent Movie Videocassette Market in the 1970s," 14 Sep. 2018 He was carried back upstairs, and spent the night in evident pain, most of it on the couch as fraternity brothers took ineffective and even harmful steps to address his condition. Washington Post, "Sprawling Penn State hazing death case grinds through courts," 8 July 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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Last Updated

13 Dec 2018

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Time Traveler for fraternity

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

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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.

: the feeling of friendship that exists between people in a group


fra·​ter·​ni·​ty | \frə-ˈtər-nə-tē \
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 nest or breeding place

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