noun, plural brothers, (Archaic) brethren.
- (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.
Origin of brother
Examples from the Web for brother
Contemporary Examples of brother
The brother of a girl who made her debut in New Orleans society was shaking his fists in excitement.The Louisiana Racists Who Courted Steve Scalise
January 3, 2015
Among the other graduates was Officer Kevin Lynch, brother and son of police officers.Cop Families Boo De Blasio at NYPD Graduation
December 30, 2014
A 2008 Pakistani raid near Turbat turned up Abdolhamid Rigi, the brother of Abdelmalek Rigi.The Dangerous Drug-Funded Secret War Between Iran and Pakistan
December 29, 2014
Mating with a cousin or brother is safer than risking life and limb to mate with an outsider.Mongooses, Meerkats, and Ants, Oh My! Why Some Animals Keep Mating All in the Family
December 29, 2014
But in the days ahead he, his brother, and the others will be back in the street while their families worry at home.Choking Back Tears, Thousands of Cops Honor Fallen Officer Ramos
December 28, 2014
Historical Examples of brother
Ask the poor fisherman at the gates, who has been to him as a brother; and he will answer 'Anaxagoras.'Philothea
Lydia Maria Child
She has got a brother, but he don't amount to shucks—he ain't much more'n a three-spot.
Is that brother of hers you told me about still makin' up to that party?
Your brother was foolish enough to leave his boat in Rushton's care.Brave and Bold
Never had her youthful freshness so appealed to her brother.
noun plural brothers or archaic except when referring to fellow members of a religion, sect, society, etc brethren
- a male person belonging to the same group, profession, nationality, trade union, etc, as another or others; fellow member
- (as modifier)brother workers
- 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
Word Origin for brother
Old English broþor, from Proto-Germanic *brothar (cf. Old Norse broðir, Danish broder, Old Frisian brother, Dutch broeder, German Bruder, Gothic bróþar), from PIE root *bhrater (cf. Sanskrit bhrátár-, Old Persian brata, Greek phratér, Latin frater, Old Irish brathir, Welsh brawd, Lithuanian broterelis, Old Prussian brati, Old Church Slavonic bratru, Czech bratr "brother").
A highly stable word across the Indo-European languages. In the few cases where other words provide the sense, it is where the cognate of brother had been applied widely to "member of a fraternity," or where there was need to distinguish "son of the same mother" and "son of the same father." E.g. Greek adelphos, probably originally an adjective with frater and meaning, specifically, "brother of the womb" or "brother by blood;" and Spanish hermano "brother," from Latin germanus "full brother." As a familiar term of address from one man to another, it is attested from 1912 in U.S. slang; the specific use among blacks is recorded from 1973.
alternative plural of brother (q.v.); predominant c.1200-1600s, but surviving now only in religious usage.