[ bruhth-er or, for 9, bruhth-ur ]
See synonyms for: brotherbrethrenbrothers on

noun,plural brothers, (Archaic) brethren.
  1. a male offspring having both parents in common with another offspring; a male sibling.

  2. Also called half brother. a male offspring having only one parent in common with another offspring.

  1. a male numbered among the same kinship group, nationality, ethnicity, profession, etc., as another; an associate; a fellow member, fellow countryman, fellow man, etc.: a fraternity brother.

  2. Ecclesiastical.

    • (often initial capital letter) a male numbered among the lay members of a religious organization that has a priesthood.

    • a man who devotes himself to the duties of a religious order without taking holy orders, or while preparing for holy orders.

  3. brothers, all members of a particular racial or ethnic group, or of the human race in general: All men are brothers.

  4. Slang. fellow; buddy: Brother, can you spare a dime?

  5. Informal. a term used to refer to or address a fellow Black man; soul brother.

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

Origin of brother

First recorded 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, Old Church Slavonic 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.

Other words from brother

  • broth·er·less, adjective
  • broth·er·like, adjective

Words Nearby brother Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use brother in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for brother


/ (ˈbrʌðə) /

nounplural brothers or archaic except when referring to fellow members of a religion, sect, society, etc brethren
  1. a male person having the same parents as another person

    • a male person belonging to the same group, profession, nationality, trade union, etc, as another or others; fellow member

    • (as modifier): brother workers

  1. comrade; friend: used as a form of address

  2. Christianity : Related adjective: fraternal

    • a member of a male religious order who undertakes work for the order without actually being in holy orders

    • a lay member of a male religious order

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

Origin of 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