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[bruhth -er-in-law] /ˈbrʌð ər ɪnˌlɔ/
noun, plural brothers-in-law.
the brother of one's husband or wife.
the husband of one's sister.
the husband of one's wife's or husband's sister.
Origin of brother-in-law
1250-1300; Middle English Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for brother-in-law
  • My sister and brother-in-law are suitably awestruck.
  • Alex knew of the grave, and he knew who had laid the body to rest: his own brother-in-law.
  • One of the best things that happened to me as a grad student was receiving the gift of a laptop from my brother-in-law.
  • And you don't listen to your brother-in-law when he says that you don't really need all four brakes.
  • My brother-in-law's cousin refuses to have wi-fi in his home for radiation fears.
  • Her sole brother, her brother-in-law, and her four closest friends were killed in the war.
  • His possible heirs are little known, and include three sons and his brother-in-law.
  • Maybe everyone else felt as if they were sharing in my sister and new brother-in-law's happiness and not somehow intruding on it.
  • His brother-in-law tells him to keep quiet about the experience.
  • Your brother-in-law is always talking about how brilliant he is, investing, investing.
British Dictionary definitions for brother-in-law


noun (pl) brothers-in-law
the brother of one's wife or husband
the husband of one's sister
the husband of the sister of one's husband or wife
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for brother-in-law

c.1300; also brother in law; see brother. In Arabic, Urdu, Swahili, etc., brother-in-law, when addressed to a male who is not a brother-in-law, is an extreme insult, with implications of "I slept with your sister."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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