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[bruhth -er-hoo d] /ˈbrʌð ərˌhʊd/
the condition or quality of being a brother or brothers.
the quality of being brotherly; fellowship.
a fraternal or trade organization.
all those engaged in a particular trade or profession or sharing a common interest or quality.
the belief that all people should act with warmth and equality toward one another, regardless of differences in nationality, creed, ethnicity, etc.
Origin of brotherhood
early Middle English
1250-1300; Middle English brithirhod (see brother, -hood); replacing early Middle English brotherhede; see -head Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for brotherhood
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Sometimes he speaks of the "bond of brotherhood" and "fellowship."

  • Yet there are other powers who are not "ohai band" (of the brotherhood)—China, for instance.

    American Notes Rudyard Kipling
  • The brotherhood men took it up right away, and I went to see Joe, that very night.

  • I can afford to say these things, and you can afford to hear them, for there is a sort of brotherhood between us.

    Lord Kilgobbin Charles Lever
  • On the whole the brotherhood of men was re-affirmed by the Churches both in the social and religious sense.

    The War and the Churches Joseph McCabe
British Dictionary definitions for brotherhood


the state of being related as a brother or brothers
an association or fellowship, such as a trade union
all persons engaged in a particular profession, trade, etc
the belief, feeling, or hope that all people should regard and treat one another as equals
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 brotherhood

equivalent of Old English broþerrede "fellowship, brotherhood," with ending as in kindred; in early Middle English the word was brotherhede with ending as in maidenhead. The modern word, with -hood, is from 15c. Originally "relationship of a brother," also "friendly companionship." Concrete sense of "an association, a fraternity" is from mid-14c. in the Middle English word (later also "labor union," 1880s). Old English also had broðorscipe "brothership," broðorsibb "kinship of brothers."

Oh, the Protestants hate the Catholics,
And the Catholics hate the Protestants,
And the Hindus hate the Muslims,
And everybody hates the Jews.

[Tom Lehrer, "National Brotherhood Week" lyrics, 1965]

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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