Try Our Apps


90s Slang You Should Know


[fruh-tur-ni-tee] /frəˈtɜr nɪ ti/
noun, plural fraternities.
a local or national organization of male students, primarily for social purposes, usually with secret initiation and rites and a name composed of two or three Greek letters.
a group of persons associated by or as if by ties of brotherhood.
any group or class of persons having common purposes, interests, etc.:
the medical fraternity.
an organization of laymen for religious or charitable purposes; sodality.
the quality of being brotherly; brotherhood:
liberty, equality, and fraternity.
the relation of a brother or between brothers.
Origin of fraternity
1300-50; Middle English fraternite < Latin frāternitās. See fraternal, -ity
Related forms
interfraternity, adjective
nonfraternity, noun, plural nonfraternities. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for fraternity
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • In the fraternity debates Herzl expressed himself sharply against any open or covert manifestation of such sympathy.

    The Jewish State Theodor Herzl
  • The next day Cap Smith came over and bid him to the fraternity.

    Stanford Stories Charles K. Field
  • A specially gifted member of the fraternity hurries down a beam with a baby in his clutches, which he has powdered with ashes.

    The Delight Makers Adolf Bandelier
  • The fraternity had had refusals before; they usually began this way.

    Stanford Stories Charles K. Field
  • I noticed your body in the parade, and have never seen a finer representation of the fraternity.

    Speeches of Benjamin Harrison Benjamin Harrison
British Dictionary definitions for fraternity


noun (pl) -ties
a body of people united in interests, aims, etc: the teaching fraternity Gender-neutral form community
(US & Canadian) a secret society joined by male students, usually functioning as a social club
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for fraternity

early 14c., "body of men associated by common interest," from Old French fraternité (12c.), from Latin fraternitatem (nominative fraternitas) "brotherhood," from fraternus "brotherly," from frater "brother," from PIE *bhrater (see brother). Meaning "state or condition of being as brothers" is from late 15c. College Greek-letter organization sense is from 1777, first in reference to Phi Beta Kappa.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for fraternity

Most English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for fraternity

Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for fraternity