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[fruh-tur-nl] /frəˈtɜr nl/
of or befitting a brother or brothers; brotherly.
of or being a society of men associated in brotherly union, as for mutual aid or benefit:
a fraternal order; a fraternal association.
Origin of fraternal
late Middle English
1375-1425; late Middle English < Latin frātern(us) fraternal (derivative of frāter brother) + -al1
Related forms
fraternalism, noun
fraternally, adverb
interfraternal, adjective
interfraternally, adverb
nonfraternal, adjective
nonfraternally, adverb
prefraternal, adjective
prefraternally, adverb
quasi-fraternal, adjective
quasi-fraternally, adverb
unfraternal, adjective
unfraternally, adverb Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for fraternalism
Historical Examples
  • They come and go, but the deeper conceptions of fraternalism remain.

    The American Mind Bliss Perry
  • The radicals who talked God and benevolence and fraternalism were anathema to him.

    Children of the Market Place

    Edgar Lee Masters
  • The spirit of fraternalism has had a remarkably good influence upon the character and intelligence of the Bohemian people.

    History of Linn County Iowa Luther A. Brewer
  • Literary illustrations of this spirit of fraternalism lie close at hand.

    The American Mind Bliss Perry
  • Indeed it is the organization of charity during the Thirteenth Century that represents the best feature of its fraternalism.

    The Thirteenth James J. Walsh
British Dictionary definitions for fraternalism


of or suitable to a brother; brotherly
of or relating to a fraternity
designating either or both of a pair of twins of the same or opposite sex that developed from two separate fertilized ova Compare identical (sense 3)
Derived Forms
fraternalism, noun
fraternally, adverb
Word Origin
C15: from Latin frāternus, from frāter brother
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for fraternalism



early 15c., from Middle French fraternel and directly from Medieval Latin fraternalis, from Latin fraternus "brotherly" (see fraternity). The noun meaning "fraternal twin" is recorded by 1911.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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fraternalism in Medicine

fraternal fra·ter·nal (frə-tûr'nəl)

  1. Of or relating to brothers.

  2. Of, relating to, or being a twin developed from two separately fertilized ova; dizygotic.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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