- 1 a boy or man who has the same mother and father as another person We're brothers. He's my brother. an older/younger brother a twin brother Does she have any brothers and sisters? Edward was the youngest of the Kennedy brothers. He was like a brother to me (= very close). see also half-brother, stepbrother See related entries: Relations other men
- 2(pl. brothers, (old-fashioned)brethren) used for talking to or talking about other male members of an organization or other men who have the same ideas, purpose, etc. as yourself We must work together, brothers! We are all brothers in the fight against injustice. He was greatly respected by his brother officers. We must support our weaker brethren. in religious group
- 3(also Brother) (brethren, brothers) a male member of a religious group, especially a monk Brother Luke The Brethren meet regularly for prayer. See related entries: Religious people form of address
- 4(North American English, informal) used by black people as a form of address for a black man at college/university
- 5(in the US) a member of a fraternity (= a club for a group of male students at a college or university) Word Origin Old English brōthor, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch broeder and German Bruder, from an Indo-European root shared by Latin frater.Extra examples Bill idolizes his big brother, who is a professional footballer. Do you have any brothers and sisters? He married the wife of his late brother. His old teacher greeted him like a long-lost brother. She wrote daily to her beloved brother, Leo. The boys are so close, they’re like brothers.