American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. A member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, a fraternal and benevolent secret society.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A member of a secret benevolent and social society, called in full The Independent Order of Odd Fellows. The order arose in the eighteenth century, and various lodges were, about 1813, consolidated into the Manchester Unity, which is now the principal body in Great Britain. There are also lodges in the United States (the first permanent lodge was founded in 1819), and in Germany, Switzerland, Australia, South America, etc. The object of the order in the United States is declared to be “to visit the sick, relieve the distressed, bury the dead, and educate the orphan, to improve and elevate the character of man.” The subordinate lodges are under the jurisdiction of the grand lodge of the United States; each lodge has officers called noble grand, vice grand, etc., and five degrees of membership. Persons who hold the fifth degree are eligible to the “encampment,” which has officers called chief patriarch, high priest, wardens, etc., and three degrees of membership. There is an affiliated degree of Rebekah for women.
GNU Webster's 1913
- A member of a secret order, or fraternity, styled the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, established for mutual aid and social enjoyment.
- n. someone regarded as eccentric or crazy and standing out from a group
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