frat·​er·​nize | \ˈfra-tər-ˌnīz \
fraternized; fraternizing

Definition of fraternize 

intransitive verb

1 : to associate or mingle as brothers or on fraternal terms fraternized with the other guests at the party

2a : 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

b : to be friendly or amiable

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Other Words from fraternize

fraternization \ ˌfra-​tər-​nə-​ˈzā-​shən \ noun
fraternizer \ ˈfra-​tər-​ˌnī-​zər \ 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

Ending the rule that says cheerleaders are not allowed to fraternize with players. Molly Knight, Marie Claire, "NFL Cheerleaders Shamed for Being Too Sexy—and Not Having Sex at All," 1 May 2018 In one landmark case, Guardsmark LLC, a nationwide company that provided security guards banned its employees from fraternizing on or off-duty, dating or becoming overly friendly with coworkers or the company's clients. Anchorage Daily News, "I’m dating a coworker who I don’t work with directly. Can my company legally require us to stop?," 7 May 2018 Policies that ban coworkers from fraternizing may face legal challenges. Anchorage Daily News, "I’m dating a coworker who I don’t work with directly. Can my company legally require us to stop?," 7 May 2018 When the mains arrived my partner gleefully tucked into a cod roasted in butter fraternizing with a variety of clams; it was accompanied by a foamy garlic emulsion and laid atop a bed of fregola sarda, a small, round Italian pasta. New York Times, "A Young Chef Swims Up-Seine in Paris," 5 May 2018 Like many of their NFL counterparts, the Saintsations cheer squad must adhere to a strict policy preventing dancers from fraternizing with football players. Molly Knight, Marie Claire, "NFL Cheerleaders Shamed for Being Too Sexy—and Not Having Sex at All," 1 May 2018 Capers allegedly fraternized with one of the women during that period, too. Carl Prine,, "Marines: Sergeant plied female service member with booze, groped her," 26 Apr. 2018 Wearing the uniform that bears his surname, fraternizing with his 24 teammates and, in the sixth inning, facing the menacing meat of an Astros offense that, right now, thrashes whatever or whomever opposes it. Chandler Rome, Houston Chronicle, "Josh Reddick's pair of homers power Astros past White Sox," 21 Apr. 2018 At the Playboy Clubs, jackets were required in the dining room, and fraternizing with the bunnies was strictly prohibited. Rick Rojas, New York Times, "Once a Getaway Where Bunnies Frolicked, Now a ‘Black Hole’," 8 Apr. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'fraternize.' 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 fraternize

1611, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for fraternize

Last Updated

2 Nov 2018

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Time Traveler for fraternize

The first known use of fraternize was in 1611

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More Definitions for fraternize



English Language Learners Definition of fraternize

: to be friendly with someone : to spend time with someone in a friendly way especially when it is considered wrong or improper to do so

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Comments on fraternize

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


playful or foolish behavior

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