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From Middle English sistren, variant plural of sister, suster ‎(sister), equivalent to sister +‎ -en. Compare brethren.



  1. (archaic) plural of sister
    • 1570 March 13. Will of David Tyrry Fitz Edmonde:
      My wyfe to have my dwelling house during her widowhood, that is to say, the hall, the parlor, and the small seller: to my sistren Catheryn and Ellen Tyrry their grinding in my myll during their lives, paying noo toll nor multhe money.
    • 2010 April 26, “The Calm Before the Storms”, Neo-Neocom, accessed on 2012-03-14:
      I see many of the brethren and the sistren are in the same place I was the other night, when Tatyana commented on my gloom.
    • 2011 February 17, Dave Lerner, “I Am Incubator”, Huffington Post, accessed on 2012-03-14:
      Among my brethren and sistren in incubation I count the folks working at places like idealab, betaworks, alleycorp, as well as certain current and former university venture lab specialists I hold in high esteem.

Usage notes[edit]

  • This form died out around the sixteenth century. Since then it has been most often used together with brethren, as in “brethren and sistren”.

See also[edit]