• synonyms


noun, plural con·fra·ter·ni·ties.
  1. a lay brotherhood devoted to some purpose, especially to religious or charitable service.
  2. a society or organization, especially of men, united for some purpose or in some profession.
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Origin of confraternity

1425–75; late Middle English confraternite < Medieval Latin confrāternitās, derivative of confrāter (see confrere), on the model of Latin frāternitās fraternity
Related formscon·fra·ter·nal, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for confraternal


noun plural -ties
  1. a group of men united for some particular purpose, esp Christian laymen organized for religious or charitable service; brotherhood
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Derived Formsconfraternal, adjective

Word Origin

C15: from Medieval Latin confrāternitās; see confrère, fraternity
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

Word Origin and History for confraternal



late 15c., from Old French confraternité (14c.), from Medieval Latin confraternitas, from confrater (see confrere).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper