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Old English


Alternative forms




From Proto-West Germanic *brōþer.


  • IPA(key): /ˈbroː.θor/, [ˈbroː.ðor]



brōþor m

  1. brother
    Mīn brōþor hæfþ twēġen cattas.
    My brother has two cats.
    • late 10th century, Ælfric, "Saint Maur, Abbot"
      Þā ġecwæð sē abbod and ealle þā ġebrōðra þæt þēr ne mihte nā mā muneca wunian...
      Then said the abbot and all the brothers, that no more monks could dwell there...

Usage notes

  • The word brōþor is attested in many different forms in the plural. The unmarked form, identical to the singular, is “attested early,” according to the Oxford English Dictionary. The Oxford English Dictionary also describes the forms with <-ru> as “frequent,” along with the forms with <-ra>. The forms with <ġe-> are described by the Oxford English Dictionary as being from “a typical West Germanic formation in which the prefix denotes mutual relationship.”



Derived terms



  • Middle English: brother
    • English: brother (see there for further descendants)
    • Scots: brither, bruther, broder, bruder
    • Yola: brover, brower