sis·​ter | \ ˈsi-stər How to pronounce sister (audio) \

Definition of sister

1 : a female who has one or both parents in common with another
2 often capitalized
a : a member of a women's religious order (as of nuns or deaconesses) especially : one of a Roman Catholic congregation under simple vows
b : a girl or woman who is a member of a Christian church
3a : a girl or woman regarded as a comrade
b : a girl or woman who shares with another a common national or racial origin especially : a black girl or woman
4 : one that is closely similar to or associated with another sister cities
5 chiefly British : nurse
6a : girl, woman
b : person usually used in the phrase weak sister
7 : a member of a sorority

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Examples of sister in a Sentence

The sisters live in the convent.
Recent Examples on the Web While Bella Hadid’s recent Instagram has some followers speculating that sister Gigi Hadid's baby with Zayn Malik may have, in fact, already arrived, Gigi herself is content with posting throwback pregnancy selfies—for now. Calin Van Paris, Vogue, "Gigi Hadid Shares a New Series of Glowing Pregnancy Selfies—While Followers Speculate That Her Baby May Have Arrived," 17 Sep. 2020 Ashok Patel sponsored his three brothers and sister, bringing them all to the United States. Michelle Hunter | Staff Writer,, "67-year-old Kenner man dies 3 months after parking lot attack; suspect to face murder charge," 17 Sep. 2020 Gigi's sister Bella Hadid confirmed with a fan on Instagram, however, that their newest family member has yet to arrive. Bianca Betancourt, Harper's BAZAAR, "Gigi Hadid's Father Pens a Touching Poem to Her Baby," 17 Sep. 2020 The wildcard proves to be Anna (Mia Wasikowska), Lily’s flighty and fragile younger daughter, who instantly clashes with her uptight, fretful older sister, Jennifer (Kate Winslet). Katie Walsh,, "‘Blackbird’ review: Susan Sarandon at center of story about grace in death," 16 Sep. 2020 According to the Lancaster Bureau of Police, Munoz’s sister had called 9-1-1 around 4:13 p.m. Izzie Ramirez,, "What To Know About The Lancaster Protests Following The Police Killing Of Ricardo Munoz," 14 Sep. 2020 Carma Johnson, Chee's sister, elaborated on these complaints in a conversation with The Republic on Wednesday. Emily Wilder, The Arizona Republic, "Family of soldier who died at Fort Hood says details of death 'don't add up'," 13 Sep. 2020 The nonprofit was founded by Bridgett Floyd (George Floyd's sister) and other family members. Mara Klecker, Star Tribune, "George Floyd Memorial Foundation launches, gives first donation," 13 Sep. 2020 His dad and older sister drove his grandmother’s car to Colorado to pick him up, arriving Friday. oregonlive, "Ex-Portland State distance runner Nigel Leonis could only watch from afar as wildfires descended on his family’s home in Talent," 12 Sep. 2020

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

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for sister

Middle English suster, sister, partly from Old English sweostor and partly from Old Norse systir sister; akin to Latin soror sister, Sanskrit svasṛ

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Time Traveler for sister

Time Traveler

The first known use of sister was before the 12th century

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Statistics for sister

Last Updated

20 Sep 2020

Cite this Entry

“Sister.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Sep. 2020.

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More Definitions for sister


How to pronounce sister (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of sister

: a girl or woman who has one or both of the same parents as you
informal used when talking to a woman
: a member of a religious community of women


sis·​ter | \ ˈsi-stər How to pronounce sister (audio) \

Kids Definition of sister

1 : a female person or animal related to another person or animal by having one or both parents in common
2 : a member of a religious society of women : nun
3 : a woman related to another by a common tie or interest

Other Words from sister

sisterly adjective


sis·​ter | \ ˈsis-tər How to pronounce sister (audio) \

Medical Definition of sister

chiefly British
: a head nurse in a hospital ward or clinic broadly : nurse

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