Definitions

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

  • n. An association of persons united in a common purpose or profession.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A group of people with a common interest.
  • n. A fraternity or brotherhood.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A society or body of men united for some purpose, or in some profession; a brotherhood.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A brotherhood; a society or body of men united for some purpose or in some profession; specifically, in the Roman Catholic Church, a lay brotherhood devoted to some particular religious or charitable service: as (in the middle ages), the confraternity of bridge-builders. The word is now similarly used in the Anglican and Protestant Episcopal churches. Also called sodality.

Etymologies

Middle English confraternite, from Old French, from Medieval Latin cōnfrāternitās, from cōnfrāter, colleague; see confrere.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

Examples

  • To call the confraternity "Lefebvrist" and non-catholic reflects one or other of these positions.

    CONFIRMED

  • A confraternity is a society of persons associated for some pious object.

    The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume 12: Philip II-Reuss

  • Perhaps the most noteworthy characteristic of the confraternity is the rapidity with which it has spread throughout every portion of the world.

    The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume 12: Philip II-Reuss

  • The object of the confraternity is the veneration of the Blessed Virgin in her intimate relation to the Heart of Jesus.

    The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume 14: Simony-Tournon

  • Another confraternity was a guild established in 1280 at Bologna, and perhaps elsewhere, which held its meetings in the Carmelite church and from time to time made an offering at a certain altar, but otherwise was entirely independent of the order.

    The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume 3: Brownson-Clairvaux

  • The "voyageurs" form a kind of confraternity in the Canadas, like the arrieros, or carriers of Spain, and, like them, are employed in long internal expeditions of travel and traffic: with this difference, that the arrieros travel by land, the voyageurs by water; the former with mules and horses, the latter with batteaux and canoes.

    Astoria, or Anecdotes of an Enterprise Beyond the Rocky Mountains

  • New Yorker: the scholarly use of statistics, the arcane vocabulary ( "confraternity"), the long list, the lavish use of commas and semicolons.

    Fritinancy

  • If it pertains to the bishop to erect the confraternity, then the pastor of a church or the superior of a religious house petitions him for canonical erection, giving the kind of confraternity desired, its title, its patron saint, the church and locality where it is to be erected, its directors, and any deviations from the ordinary rules of the confraternity in question, and asking the consent of the bishop for aggregation to the archconfraternity.

    The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume 1: Aachen-Assize

  • Burschenshaft, since the process of initiation necessarily implies the existence of some kind of thiasos ( 'company,' 'confraternity' or 'troupe') to which the initiate makes application and gains admission in order to share the experience of life-change. "

    TELOSscope: The Telos Press blog

  • It is the altar of the confraternity of the Trinity which was introduced at St. Getreu by the abbot of St. Michael in 1739.

    Catholic Bamberg: The Church of St. Getreu

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