Definitions

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

  • n. A male having the same parents as another or one parent in common with another.
  • n. One who shares a common ancestry, allegiance, character, or purpose with another or others, especially:
  • n. A kinsman.
  • n. A fellow man.
  • n. A fellow member, as of a fraternity, trade union, or panel of judges on a court.
  • n. A close male friend; a comrade.
  • n. A fellow African-American man or boy.
  • n. Something, such as a corporation or institution, that is regarded as a member of a class: "A station that ... relies on corporate contributions or advertising to survive runs the risk of becoming virtually indistinguishable from its commercial brethren” ( W. John Moore).
  • n. A member of a men's religious order who is not in holy orders but engages in the work of the order.
  • n. A lay member of a religious order of men.
  • n. A fellow member of the Christian church.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Son of the same parents as another person.
  • n. A male child descended from the same parents.
  • n. A male having at least one parent in common with another (see half-brother, stepbrother).
  • n. A male fellow member of a religious community, church, trades union etc.
  • n. A black male.
  • n. Someone who is a peer, whether male or female.
  • v. To treat as a brother.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A male person who has the same father and mother with another person, or who has one of them only. In the latter case he is more definitely called a half brother, or brother of the half blood.
  • n. One related or closely united to another by some common tie or interest, as of rank, profession, membership in a society, toil, suffering, etc.; -- used among judges, clergymen, monks, physicians, lawyers, professors of religion, etc.
  • n. One who, or that which, resembles another in distinctive qualities or traits of character.
  • transitive v. To make a brother of; to call or treat as a brother; to admit to a brotherhood.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Bearing a fraternal relation in a general sense; of the character of a brother: as, a brother man or magistrate.
  • To consider or treat as a brother; address as a brother.
  • To relate as brothers; make kin.
  • n. A male person, in his relation to another person or other persons of either sex born of the same parents; a male relative in the first degree of descent or mutual kinship: used also of the lower animals: the converse of sister. See brother-in-law and half-brother.
  • n. A male person in his relation to any other person or persons of the same blood or ancestry; a member of a common family or race in his relation to all other members; in the plural, all members of a particular race, or of the human race in general, as regards each other.
  • n. One of two or more men closely united without regard to personal kinship, as by a common interest; an associate; one of the same rank, profession, occupation, or belief, especially in law, religion, or organized charity.
  • n. Specifically, as a translation of friar, a member of a mendicant order.
  • n. In the plural form brethren, the designation of several Christian organizations, derived from the fact that the title was used by the primitive Christians in speaking of themselves; specifically, a sect of German Baptists, more popularly known as Dunkers.
  • n. A member of a religious congregation whose members do not receive the priesthood, but devote themselves to teaching or good works; also, a lay member of a community having priests.
  • n. Figuratively, one who resembles another in manners or disposition.
  • n. Often abbreviated bro., plural bros.
  • n. [The plural form brethren is not now used in the sense of male children of the same parents, but only in the wider meanings of the word brother.]

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

  • n. (Roman Catholic Church) a title given to a monk and used as form of address
  • n. a close friend who accompanies his buddies in their activities
  • n. a male with the same parents as someone else
  • n. used as a term of address for those male persons engaged in the same movement
  • n. a male person who is a fellow member (of a fraternity or religion or other group)

Etymologies

Middle English, from Old English brōthor.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English brother, from Old English brōþor, from Proto-Germanic *brōþēr (cf. West Frisian broer, Dutch broeder, German Bruder, Danish broder), from Proto-Indo-European *bʰréh₂tēr (cf. Irish bráthair, Latin frāter, Ancient Greek φράτηρ (phratēr), Tocharian A pracar, B procer, Russian брат (brat), Lithuanian brolis, Persian برادر (barādar), Sanskrit and Hindi भ्रातृ (bhrātṛ)). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Scripture frequently inculcates: e.g. a brother is to be admonished privately, publicly, &c., not for the gaining of our private interests, advantages, &c., but for _the gaining of our brother_, that his soul and conscience may be gained to God and to his duty, and he be reformed,

    The Divine Right of Church Government by Sundry Ministers Of Christ Within The City Of London

  • "Her _brother_!" said Benjamin Wright; "Sam, my boy, he isn't her brother."

    The Awakening of Helena Richie

  • It will be seen that John Snoggs can say to Joseph Bloggs, "You are my _father's brother-in-law_, because my father married your sister Kate; you are my _brother's father-in-law_, because my brother Alfred married your daughter Mary; and you are my _father-in-law's brother_, because my wife Jane was your brother Henry's daughter."

    Amusements in Mathematics

  • This man that Sally had spoken of so unconsciously was _her brother_ -- at least, he was brother enough to her by blood to make that thought a blade to penetrate the core of her mother's soul.

    Somehow Good

  • Khusrû was treated with great kindness by his father, after he had been barbarously deprived of sight; [17] but when his brother, Shâh Jahân, was appointed to the government of Southern India, he pretended great solicitude about the comforts of his _poor blind brother_, which he thought would not be attended to at court, and took him with him to his government in the

    Rambles and Recollections of an Indian Official

  • Jaron's twin brother, is averaging a team-high 9.3 rpg.

    NCAA Men's Basketball - Stanford vs. Arizona State

  • [532] The term brother's brother-in-law is abusive in the same sense as brother-in-law (_sala_) said by a man.

    The Tribes and Castes of the Central Provinces of India Volume II

  • But count the tent-maker as well as thy brother, as him that is borne upon a chariot and hath innumerable servants and struts in the market-place: nay, rather the former than the latter; since the term brother would more naturally be used where there is the greater resemblance.

    NPNF1-12. Saint Chrysostom: Homilies on the Epistles of Paul to the Corinthians

  • And speaking on MSNBC today, political analyst and strategist Karen Finney remarked that she was slightly bothered by Perry's use of the term "brother" to refer to Cain.

    Telegraph.co.uk - Telegraph online, Daily Telegraph and Sunday Telegraph

  • Just b/c NTU didn't mention them specifically, they fall under the "everything marriage" umbrella ... gak - hut brother is short for saying Obama has a brother that lives in a hut.

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