phra·​try ˈfrā-trē How to pronounce phratry (audio)
plural phratries
: a kinship group forming a subdivision of a Greek phyle
: a tribal subdivision
specifically : an exogamous group typically comprising several totemic clans

Word History


Greek phratria, from phratēr member of the same clan, member of a phratry — more at brother

First Known Use

1833, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of phratry was in 1833

Dictionary Entries Near phratry

Cite this Entry

“Phratry.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 May. 2024.

More from Merriam-Webster on phratry

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!