Definitions

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

  • n. A kinship group constituting an intermediate division in the primitive structure of the Hellenic tribe or phyle, consisting of several patrilinear clans, and surviving in classical times as a territorial subdivision in the political and military organization of the Athenian state.
  • n. Anthropology An exogamous subdivision of the tribe, constituting two or more related clans.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A former kinship division consisting of two or more distinct clans with separate identities but considered to be a single unit.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A subdivision of a phyle, or tribe, in Athens.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A brotherhood or clan; specifically, in the states of ancient Greece, a politico-religious group of citizens, which appears to have been originally based on kinship and to have been a subdivision of the phyle or tribe.

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

  • n. people descended from a common ancestor

Etymologies

Greek phrātriā, from phrātēr, phrātr-, fellow member of a clan; see bhrāter- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Ancient Greek φρατρία, "brotherhood" or "kinfolk". (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Membership in a brotherhood called a phratry was desirable but probably not a necessary condition of citizenship.

    THE LANDMARK THUCYDIDES

  • Both in Athens and Rome there was a division known as phratry or

    The Tribes and Castes of the Central Provinces of India—Volume I (of IV)

  • We would further suggest that, if this was the seat of a tribe, each of the two divisions might have been the location of a phratry of the tribe, by a phratry, meaning the subdivision of a tribe.

    The Prehistoric World; or, Vanished races

  • The exponent of the phratry was the tiyotipi or "soldiers’ lodge," which has been described at length by Dr Riggs. (

    Siouan Sociology

  • Each phratry was divided into two groups: the clansmen (gennetai), made up of the aristocratic eupatridae, and the guildsmen (orgeones), who practiced trade and manufacture.

    d. Athens

  • But tell me, has your father had you entered on the registers of his phratry?

    The Birds

  • He and his city wife (probably chosen for him by Lilisaire because of her family connections, she being of the Mare Crisium phratry) received me courteously if not cordially and were as cooperative as could be expected.

    The Stars Are Also Fire

  • In their Heroic Age the Greeks were fighting in phyle and phratry, the Germanic peoples in tribes and kinship-groups, and the ancient Scots in their clans, each of which could be identified by special insignia during the greater collective military expeditions.

    Conflict and The Web of Group-Affiliations

  • The next division of the tribe was the phratry -- the word properly meaning a brotherhood.

    The Prehistoric World; or, Vanished races

  • Mexican phratry was largely concerned with military matters.

    The Prehistoric World; or, Vanished races

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