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verb (used without object), frat·er·nized, frat·er·niz·ing.
  1. to associate in a fraternal or friendly way.
  2. to associate cordially or intimately with natives of a conquered country, enemy troops, etc.
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verb (used with object), frat·er·nized, frat·er·niz·ing.
  1. Archaic. to bring into fraternal association or sympathy.
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Also especially British, frat·er·nise.

Origin of fraternize

1605–15; < French fraterniser < Medieval Latin frāternizāre. See fraternal, -ize
Related formsfrat·er·ni·za·tion, nounfrat·er·niz·er, nounun·frat·er·nized, adjectiveun·frat·er·niz·ing, adjective


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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for fraternize

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • In the upshot it proved that they were not yet to fraternize with the Army of the Valley.

    The Long Roll

    Mary Johnston

  • To fraternize means to make a brother of; to receive into a fraternity.


    Elmer W. Cavins

  • Next day the National Guards will fraternize with the people!

    Edmond Dants

    Edmund Flagg

  • I made one more attempt to fraternize with them, and only one.

    Sketches New and Old, Complete

    Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens)

  • The Russians seemed to fraternize with the French more than with us.

British Dictionary definitions for fraternize



  1. (intr often foll by with) to associate on friendly terms
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Derived Formsfraternization or fraternisation, nounfraternizer or fraterniser, noun
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 fraternize


1610s, "to sympathize as brothers," from French fraterniser, from Medieval Latin fraternizare, from fraternus "brotherly" (see fraternity). Military sense of "cultivate friendship with enemy troops" is from 1897 (used in World War I with reference to the Christmas Truce). Used oddly by World War II armed forces to mean "have sex with women from enemy countries."

A piece of frat, Wren-language for any attractive young woman -- ex-enemy -- in occupied territory. [John Irving, "Royal Navalese," 1946]

Related: Fraternized; fraternizing.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper