[ breth-rin ]
/ ˈbrɛð rɪn /

plural noun

fellow members.
Archaic. brothers.


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synonym study for brethren

1, 2. See brother.

Definition for brethren (2 of 2)

[ bruhth-er or for 9, bruhth-ur ]
/ ˈbrʌð ər or for 9, ˈbrʌðˈɜr /

noun, plural brothers, (Archaic) brethren.


Slang. (used to express disappointment, disgust, or surprise).

Origin of brother

before 1000; Middle English; Old English brōthor; cognate with Dutch broeder, German Bruder, Old Norse brōthir, Gothic brothar, Sanskrit bhrātṛ, Greek phrā́tēr, Latin frāter, Old Irish bráthair, OCS bratrŭ

synonym study for brother

1. Brothers, brethren are plurals of brother. Brothers are kinsmen, sons of the same parents: My mother lives with my brothers. Brethren, now archaic in the foregoing sense, is used of male members of a congregation or of a fraternal organization: The brethren will meet at the church.


broth·er·less, adjectivebroth·er·like, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Example sentences from the Web for brethren

British Dictionary definitions for brethren (1 of 2)

/ (ˈbrɛðrɪn) /

pl n

archaic a plural of brother
fellow members of a religion, sect, society, etc

British Dictionary definitions for brethren (2 of 2)

/ (ˈbrʌðə) /

noun plural brothers or archaic except when referring to fellow members of a religion, sect, society, etc brethren

a male person having the same parents as another person
  1. a male person belonging to the same group, profession, nationality, trade union, etc, as another or others; fellow member
  2. (as modifier)brother workers
comrade; friend: used as a form of address
  1. a member of a male religious order who undertakes work for the order without actually being in holy orders
  2. a lay member of a male religious order
Related adjective: fraternal


slang an exclamation of amazement, disgust, surprise, disappointment, etc

Word Origin for brother

Old English brōthor; related to Old Norse brōthir, Old High German bruoder, Latin frāter, Greek phratēr, Sanskrit bhrātar
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