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[fruh-tur-nl] /frəˈtɜr nl/
of or befitting a brother or brothers; brotherly.
of or being a society of men associated in brotherly union, as for mutual aid or benefit:
a fraternal order; a fraternal association.
late Middle English
1375-1425; late Middle English < Latin frātern(us) fraternal (derivative of frāter brother) + -al1
Related forms
fraternalism, noun
fraternally, adverb
interfraternal, adjective
interfraternally, adverb
nonfraternal, adjective
nonfraternally, adverb
prefraternal, adjective
prefraternally, adverb
quasi-fraternal, adjective
quasi-fraternally, adverb
unfraternal, adjective
unfraternally, adverb Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for fraternal
  • In public, he is loyalty and fraternal pride incarnate.
  • Lobstermen form a fraternal order of their own, and lobster wars between rival communities of fishermen often erupt.
  • Then came social changes to dull the appeal of fraternal organizations.
  • If they did they would no longer be fraternal organizations.
  • Some fraternal organizations are declining but many are growing rapidly and have no trouble recruiting younger members.
  • It is about guilt and ambition, and about the fraternal blood-dealing that that produces.
  • Many fraternal organizations were first organized as mutual aid societies.
British Dictionary definitions for fraternal


of or suitable to a brother; brotherly
of or relating to a fraternity
designating either or both of a pair of twins of the same or opposite sex that developed from two separate fertilized ova Compare identical (sense 3)
Derived Forms
fraternalism, noun
fraternally, adverb
Word Origin
C15: from Latin frāternus, from frāter brother
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 fraternal

early 15c., from Middle French fraternel and directly from Medieval Latin fraternalis, from Latin fraternus "brotherly" (see fraternity). The noun meaning "fraternal twin" is recorded by 1911.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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fraternal in Medicine

fraternal fra·ter·nal (frə-tûr'nəl)

  1. Of or relating to brothers.

  2. Of, relating to, or being a twin developed from two separately fertilized ova; dizygotic.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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