frat·​er·​nize | \ ˈfra-tər-ˌnīz How to pronounce fraternize (audio) \
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 How to pronounce fraternization (audio) \ noun
fraternizer \ ˈfra-​tər-​ˌnī-​zər How to pronounce fraternizer (audio) \ 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 the tribes start fraternizing, Kellee Kim and Missy Byrd talk for the first time on screen, and an issue comes up about alleged inappropriate touching by contestant Dan Spilo, which Kim had addressed with him in the first episode of the season. NBC News, "Female 'survivor' contestant accuses male player of inappropriate touching. She is voted off.," 14 Nov. 2019 Mike fraternizes with a taxi driver (a radiant Sher Alam Miskeen Ustad) over sweeping vistas and music-making until the Taliban enters to, understandably, probe the foreigner’s intentions. Carlos Aguilar, Los Angeles Times, "Review: ‘Jirga’ asks if atonement for war sins is possible," 1 Aug. 2019 Bunnies, who lived in dorms on the property, could not fraternize with the guests and guests could not touch them. Brian E. Clark, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "From Lake Geneva Playboy Club to Marcus resort, Grand Geneva celebrates 25 years with special deals and events," 21 June 2019 This was, in fact, the first time that a young, semiunderground, and, by all accounts, cool designer has ever stepped in front of a Bravo TV camera to fraternize with the Housewives. Brooke Bobb, Vogue, "The Real Housewives of New York City," 21 Mar. 2019 Last month’s unprecedented cease-fire by both sides had offered a rare glimpse of peace for Afghans during which militants fraternized with members of the security forces. Rahim Faiez, The Seattle Times, "Afghan officials: IS bomber kills 20, Taliban kill 9 police," 17 July 2018 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 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

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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The first known use of fraternize was in 1611

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Cite this Entry

“Fraternize.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 9 Apr. 2020.

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More Definitions for fraternize


How to pronounce fraternize (audio)

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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More from Merriam-Webster on fraternize

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for fraternize

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with fraternize

Spanish Central: Translation of fraternize

Nglish: Translation of fraternize for Spanish Speakers

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