frat·​er·​nize ˈfra-tər-ˌnīz How to pronounce fraternize (audio)
fraternized; fraternizing

intransitive verb

: to associate or mingle as brothers or on fraternal terms
fraternized with the other guests at the party
: to associate on close terms with members of a hostile group especially when contrary to military orders
were ordered not to fraternize with the enemy
: to be friendly or amiable
fraternization noun
fraternizer noun

Did you know?

Both fraternize and fraternal (meaning "of, relating to, or involving brothers") come to us, by way of Medieval Latin, from Latin frater, meaning "brother." Other frater descendants in English include friar, fraternity, and confraternity ("a society devoted especially to a religious or charitable cause"). Even brother itself shares a relationship with frater. These days, although fraternize can still refer to a brotherly association or simple friendliness, it often occurs in contexts, such as "fraternizing with the enemy," implying friendliness toward someone who would be better avoided.

Examples of fraternize in a Sentence

It is usually unwise to fraternize with your employees. don't fraternize just with people of the same race, religion, or social background
Recent Examples on the Web As revealed in previously undisclosed FBI files, Manton fraternized with racketeers and accepted large loans and gifts from such unsavory sources. Time, 25 July 2023 Starting in the 1950s the area was overrun with them: Freudians mingling with devotees of the more radical R.D. Laing; Bruno Bettelheimites fraternizing with Jung enthusiasts. Mattie Kahn, Town & Country, 13 June 2023 But none of you is there to fraternize. Charlotte Druckman, Town & Country, 27 Mar. 2023 In his unit, the officers aren’t saddled by rules against fraternizing with prisoners. Anita Chabria, Los Angeles Times, 16 Mar. 2023 And don’t fraternize at your desk; go to a break room. Yec, Forbes, 18 Aug. 2022 Whether made ironically or in harmless fun, the #prettyfriendgroup and #baddiefriend hashtags have many videos from fun, fashionable and, objectively attractive folk who fraternize with people who fulfill a similar brief. L'oréal Blackett,, 4 May 2022 That’s a pretty damning critique, which must be in some way inspired by Strickland’s own experience with such institutions, where wealthy patrons get to fraternize with the artists. Peter Debruge, Variety, 11 Feb. 2022 Known to fraternize with people at the edge of the water, Old Ben often begged for food and was said to be recognizable by the white spot and bump on his head. oregonlive, 29 Nov. 2021 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'fraternize.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1611, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of fraternize was in 1611


Dictionary Entries Near fraternize

Cite this Entry

“Fraternize.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


frat·​er·​nize ˈfrat-ər-ˌnīz How to pronounce fraternize (audio)
fraternized; fraternizing
: to associate as friends
fraternization noun
fraternizer noun

More from Merriam-Webster on fraternize

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