brother

Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to: navigation, search

English[edit]

Wikipedia has an article on:

Wikipedia

Alternative forms[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Middle English brother, from Old English brōþor, from Proto-Germanic *brōþēr (compare West Frisian broer, Dutch broeder, German Bruder, Danish broder), from Proto-Indo-European *bʰréh₂tēr (compare Irish bráthair, Latin frāter, Ancient Greek φράτηρ (phrátēr), Tocharian A pracar, B procer, Russian брат (brat), Lithuanian brolis, Persian برادر (barādar), Sanskrit and Hindi भ्रातृ (bhrātṛ)).

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

brother (plural brothers or brethren)

  1. Son of the same parents as another person.
    • 1918, W. B. Maxwell, chapter 10, The Mirror and the Lamp:
      It was a joy to snatch some brief respite, and find himself in the rectory drawing–room. Listening here was as pleasant as talking; just to watch was pleasant. The young priests who lived here wore cassocks and birettas; their faces were fine and mild, yet really strong, like the rector's face; and in their intercourse with him and his wife they seemed to be brothers.
    My parents love me and my brother equally, even though he is adopted.
  2. A male having at least one parent in common with another (see half-brother, stepbrother).
  3. A male fellow member of a religious community, church, trades union etc.
    • The Bible, Deuteronomy 23:19 (NKJV)
      You shall not charge interest to your brother—interest on money or food or anything that is lent out at interest.
    Thank you, brother. I would like to thank the brother who just spoke.
  4. (African American Vernacular) A black male.
    • 2013, Gwyneth Bolton, Ready for Love
      But damn if they knew when to just leave a brother alone and let him sulk in silence.
  5. Someone who is a peer, whether male or female.
    • 1945, George Orwell, Animal Farm, chapter 1
      And, above all, no animal must ever tyrannise over his own kind. Weak or strong, clever or simple, we are all brothers.

Usage notes[edit]

The plural “brethren” is not used for biological brothers in contemporary English (although it was in older usage). It is, however, still very common when meaning “members of a religious order”. It is also sometimes used in other figurative senses, e.g. “adherents of the same religion”, “countrymen”, and the like.

Coordinate terms[edit]

  • (with regards to gender): sister

Hypernyms[edit]

Derived terms[edit]

Related terms[edit]

Translations[edit]

The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Help:How to check translations.

Descendants[edit]

Verb[edit]

brother (third-person singular simple present brothers, present participle brothering, simple past and past participle brothered)

  1. (transitive) To treat as a brother.
    • 1819, Walter Scott, Ivanhoe
    • Seest thou not we are overreached, and that our proposed mode of communicating with our friends without has been disconcerted by this same motley gentleman thou art so fond to brother?

Translations[edit]

Interjection[edit]

brother

  1. Expressing exasperation.
    We're being forced to work overtime? Oh, brother!

Statistics[edit]


Middle English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Old English brōþor.

Noun[edit]

brother (plural brothers)

  1. brother

Descendants[edit]