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 Three friends try to recapture the fun of their college years by starting their own off-campus fraternity. Los Angeles Times, "Movies on TV this week: ‘An American in Paris’; ‘Ben-Hur’," 26 Mar. 2021 Penn State suspended its second fraternity this week for social distancing violations, according to a Sunday statement from the university. Amir Vera, CNN, "Colleges and universities across US halt in-person classes and begin campus monitoring after rising coronavirus cases," 24 Aug. 2020 Cranky, fast-talking Madea finds herself under attack from ghosts, ghouls and zombies after breaking up a fraternity’s Halloween party. Ed Stockly, Los Angeles Times, "Movies on TV this week: ‘My Fair Lady’; ‘Marry Poppins’," 19 Mar. 2021 The case against the fraternity member seemed straightforward. Kenny Jacoby, USA TODAY, "LSU administrator gave rapists, stalkers and other Title IX violators slaps on the wrist," 17 Mar. 2021 Pitino was the rare member of his fraternity who would take a tough question and answer it, who didn't place himself above the fray. Star Tribune, "Why we should remember Richard Pitino as an overachiever in Minnesota," 15 Mar. 2021 The university placed the Delta Beta Chapter of the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity on interim suspension and suspended all new-member intake processes, the school said in a statement on March 9. Ivan Pereira, ABC News, "Bowling Green State University holds memorial for student who died from alleged hazing incident," 14 Mar. 2021 Ten years later, another Delta Chi fraternity member died, this time at New Mexico State University. NBC News, "If student deaths won't stop fraternity hazing, what will?," 12 Mar. 2021 The men in black’s uniformed response mirrors call-and-response interactions that are characteristic of Black fraternities; Jordan became a member of the Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity at USC in the '80s. Ariana Brockington,, "The Masked Singer Robopine Is A Tough One — Here’s Who Might Be Messing With The Panel," 10 Mar. 2021

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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Time Traveler for fraternity

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for fraternity

Last Updated

5 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Fraternity.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 11 Apr. 2021.

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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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