from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A plural of brother.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Plural form of brother.
  • n. the body of members, especially of a fraternal, religious or military order

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. pl. of brother.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. Plural of brother. See phrases under brother.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. (plural) the lay members of a male religious order


From Early Modern English brethren (plural of brother), from Middle English brethere, brether (+ -en (plural ending)), alteration, due to Old English brēþer (dative singular), of Old English brōþor, brōþru ("brothers, brethren"). Compare German Brüder ("brothers, brethren"). More at brother. (Wiktionary)


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  • Sionnach, you've just set me giggling, and I'm afraid I might not stop for some time.

    Hee hee hee!

    April 4, 2008

  • Kind of like cistern, only male.

    April 3, 2008