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

The first two senses seem as if they could be merged into one - that would better account for adopted brothers, foster brothers etc. 23:07, 1 February 2010 (UTC)

No way. People use brother both to include adopted siblings and to exclude them. Similarly with half-brothers, step-brothers, foster brothers, brothers-in-law. DCDuring TALK 18:09, 13 February 2010 (UTC)


I don't believe brethren is wholly archaic, especially not in the sense of "a male fellow member of a religious community or church"; for example, in the LDS church, brethren is how the various members of the priesthood refer to one another, and not as brothers. Also, regarding that plural form in conjunction with the derived terms (where applicable):

The tag should probably be changed to (chiefly archaic, formal, or literary) or something. ※ Raifʻhār Doremítzwr   〰 ··  〰  00:09, 14 February 2010 (UTC)


Can someone tell me why it is written with only one "o". It is derived from OE "ō" and other words which where shortened early, from "ō" /uː/ to /u/ so they joined the foot-strut-split, are written with two o's like blood, flood.-- 17:24, 9 November 2010 (UTC)

I think it probably is the result of bro-(ther) being an open syllable, while blood and flood are closed syllables. Open syllables normally have long vowels, with no need to mark the length. Closed syllables normally have short vowels (cop, rock, pick, buck, tack), and require special treatment if the vowel is to be long (cope, coop, pike, peak, bake, bike). —Stephen (Talk) 20:57, 9 November 2010 (UTC)