noun, plural fraternities.
a local or national organization of male students, primarily for social purposes, usually with secret initiation and rites and a name composed of two or three Greek letters.
a group of persons associated by or as if by ties of brotherhood.
any group or class of persons having common purposes, interests, etc.: the medical fraternity.
an organization of laymen for religious or charitable purposes; sodality.
the quality of being brotherly; brotherhood: liberty, equality, and fraternity.
the relation of a brother or between brothers.

1300–50; Middle English fraternite < Latin frāternitās. See fraternal, -ity

interfraternity, adjective
nonfraternity, noun, plural nonfraternities. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
fraternity (frəˈtɜːnɪtɪ)
n , pl -ties
1.  Gender-neutral form: community a body of people united in interests, aims, etc: the teaching fraternity
2.  brotherhood
3.  (US), (Canadian) a secret society joined by male students, usually functioning as a social club

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

early 14c., "body of men associated by common interest," from O.Fr. fraternité, from L. fraternitatem (nom. fraternitas), from fraternus "brotherly," from frater "brother," from PIE *bhrater (see brother). College Greek-letter organization sense is from 1777, first
in reference to Phi Beta Kappa; shortened form frat first recorded 1895.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
Think only of the initiation into fraternity and sorority houses.
Prospective fraternity and sorority members are still kicked, paddled and
When a college's social reputation threatens to overwhelm its academic stature,
  the fraternity house stands.
It reminded me of a fraternity hazing with the older monks giving the younger
  ones grief.
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