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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.
Origin of fraternal
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
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The root of all benevolent actions is filial piety and fraternal love.

    Pearls of Thought Maturin M. Ballou
  • It is as if there were now but one and the same soil, reconciled and fraternal.

  • Whence conjugal duty, paternal or maternal duty, filial duty, and fraternal duty.

    Elements of Morals Paul Janet
  • It seems probable that fraternal polyandry must formerly have been practised.

    The Truth About Woman C. Gasquoine Hartley
  • In communities distinguished for fraternal charity and the family spirit the conversation frequently turns on the dead.

    Fraternal Charity Rev. Father Valuy
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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