From Early Modern English brethren (plural of brother), from Middle English brethere, brether + -en (plural ending), alteration, due to Old English brēþer (dative singular), of Old English brōþor, brōþru (“brothers, brethren”). Compare German Brüder (“brothers, brethren”). More at brother. The vowel change (from o to e) is called in English rephonologization or cheshirization, but is more usual in German where it is called umlaut.
- (archaic) plural of
- (figuratively) the body of members, especially of a fraternal, religious or military order
- 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 Wiktionary:Entry layout#Translations.
- Of or akin to; related; like
2009, Seth Shostak, Confessions of an Alien Hunter:
- The principle still sounds good, but our astronomical knowledge is limited, and we haven't yet discovered any such brethren solar systems.