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From Middle English brotherhod, equivalent to brother +‎ -hood, from earlier brotherhede, alteration (influenced by suffixes in -hood, -head) of Early Middle English brotherrede (brotherhood, fraternity), from Old English brōþorrǣden (brotherhood, fellowship), equivalent to brother +‎ -red (see brotherred). More at brother, -red.



brotherhood (countable and uncountable, plural brotherhoods)

  1. The state of being brothers or a brother (also figuratively).
    • 2022 September 11, Scott McDonald, quoting President Volodymyr Zelensky, “Cold, Hunger and Darkness in Ukraine 'Not as Terrible' as Russia: Zelensky”, in Newsweek[1], archived from the original on 12 September 2022[2]:
      "Read lips: Without gas or without you? Without you. Without light or without you? Without you. Without water or without you? Without you. Without food or without you? Without you.
      "Cold, hunger, darkness and thirst are not as terrible and deadly for us as your "friendship and brotherhood."
  2. An association of people for any purpose, such as a society of monks; a fraternity.
    James formed a kind of brotherhood for ex-pats who were working in Valencia.
  3. All the people engaged in the same business, especially those of the same profession
    the legal brotherhood
    the medical brotherhood
  4. People, or (poetically) things, of the same kind.


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