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From Middle English felowschipe, felawshipe, felaȝschyp, equivalent to fellow +‎ -ship; or perhaps adapted from Old Norse félagskapr, félagsskapr (fellowship). Compare Icelandic félagsskapur (companionship, company, community), Danish fællesskab (fellowship), Norwegian fellesskap (fellowship).



fellowship (countable and uncountable, plural fellowships)

  1. A company of people that share the same interest or aim.
    Coordinate terms: companionship, communing
  2. (dated) Company, companions; a group of people or things following another.
  3. A feeling of friendship, relatedness or connection between people.
  4. (education) A merit-based scholarship.
    Coordinate term: traineeship
    • 2021 May 18, Catie Edmondson, quoting Debbie Altenburg, “Senate Weighs Investing $120 Billion in Science to Counter China”, in The New York Times[1], →ISSN:
      There is a significant investment in scholarships and fellowships and traineeships, so that we are also making sure that we’re investing in domestic work force.
    • 2021 May 20, Hilarie M. Sheets, “A Utopian Art School in Michigan Looks Back and Ahead”, in The New York Times[2], →ISSN:
      It will go toward 20 full-tuition fellowships for students of color, as well as to endow the initiative in perpetuity, provide relief for the existing scholarship fund and bring in artists of color as visiting faculty over the next five years.
  5. (education) A temporary position at an academic institution with limited teaching duties and ample time for research.
    Synonym: postdoc
  6. (medicine) A period of supervised, sub-specialty medical training in the United States and Canada that a physician may undertake after completing a specialty training program or residency.
    Coordinate terms: residency, internship
  7. (arithmetic, archaic) The proportional division of profit and loss among partners.

Derived terms[edit]



fellowship (third-person singular simple present fellowships, present participle fellowshipping or (US also) fellowshiping, simple past and past participle fellowshipped or (US also) fellowshiped)

  1. (transitive) To admit to fellowship, enter into fellowship with; to make feel welcome by showing friendship or building a cordial relationship. Now only in religious use.
    The Bishop's family fellowshipped the new converts.
    The Society of Religious Snobs refused to fellowship the poor family.
    • c. 1524, Sidney John Hervon Herrtage (editor), The early English versions of the Gesta Romanorum, first edition (1879), anthology, published for The Early English Text Society by N. Trübner & Co., translation of Gesta Romanorum by anon., xxxiv. 135, (Harl. MS. c.1440), page 135:
      Then pes seynge hir sistris alle in acorde...she turnid ayene; For whenne contencions & styf wer' cessid, then pes was felashipid among hem.
      Then Peace saw her sisters all in accord...she turned again; for when contentions and strife were ceased, then Peace was fellowshipped among them.
  2. (intransitive, now chiefly religious, especially in Canada, US) To join in fellowship; to associate with.
    The megachurch he attends is too big for making personal connections, so he also fellowships weekly in one of the church's small groups.
    After she got married, she stopped fellowshipping with the singles in our church.

Derived terms[edit]