- 1 English
- 2 Scots
From Middle English sister, suster, partly from Old Norse systir (“sister”) and partly from Old English swustor, sweoster, sweostor (“sister, nun”); both from Proto-Germanic *swestēr (“sister”), from Proto-Indo-European *swésōr (“sister”). Cognate with Scots sister, syster (“sister”), West Frisian sus, suster (“sister”), Dutch zuster (“sister”), German Schwester (“sister”), Norwegian Bokmål søster (“sister”), Norwegian Nynorsk and Swedish syster (“sister”), Icelandic systir (“sister”), Gothic 𐍃𐍅𐌴𐍃𐍄𐌰𐍂 (swēstar, “sister”), Latin soror (“sister”), Russian сестра́ (sestrá, “sister”), Lithuanian sesuo (“sister”), Albanian vajzë (“girl, maiden”), Sanskrit स्वसृ (svásṛ, “sister”), Persian خواهر (xâhar, “sister”).
- (UK) IPA(key): /ˈsɪs.tə/
- (US) enPR: sĭs'tər, IPA(key): /ˈsɪs.tɚ/, /ˈsɪs.təɹ/
Audio (US) (file)
Audio (UK) (file)
- Rhymes: -ɪstə(r)
sister (plural sisters)
- A daughter of the same parents as another person; a female sibling.
- My sister is always driving me crazy.
- A female member of a religious order; especially one devoted to more active service; (informal) a nun.
- Michelle left behind her bank job and became a sister at the local convent.
- Any butterfly in the genus Adelpha, so named for the resemblance of the dark-colored wings to the black habit traditionally worn by nuns.
- (Britain) A senior or supervisory nurse, often in a hospital.
- Any woman or girl with whom a bond is felt through common membership of a race, profession, religion or organization, such as feminism.
- Connie was very close to her friend Judy and considered her to be her sister.
- (slang) A black woman.
- (informal) A form of address to a woman.
- What’s up, sister?
- A woman, in certain labour or socialist circles; also as a form of address.
- Thank you, sister. I would like to thank the sister who just spoke.
- (attributively) An entity that has a special or affectionate, non-hierarchical relationship with another.
- sister publication, sister city, sister projects
- (usually attributively) In the same class.
- sister ships, sister facility
In Roman Catholicism, a distinction is often drawn (especially by members of female religious orders) between nuns and sisters, the former being cloistered and devoted primarily to prayer, the latter being more active, doing work such as operating hospitals, caring for the poor, or teaching.
- (woman or girl with the same parents): (slang) sis
- (member of religious community): nun, sistren
- (supervisory nurse): charge nurse
- (informal: form of address to a woman): darling, dear, love, (US) lady, miss, (northern UK) pet
- (attributively, having a special relationship): affiliate, affiliated
- (with regards to gender) brother
- (daughter of common parents): sibling
- 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.
- (transitive, construction) To strengthen (a supporting beam) by fastening a second beam alongside it.
- I’m trying to correct my sagging floor by sistering the joists.
- (obsolete, transitive) To be sister to; to resemble closely.
- (Can we find and add a quotation of Shakespeare to this entry?)
sister (plural sisters)