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fraternity

[fruh-tur-ni-tee] /frəˈtɜr nɪ ti/
noun, plural fraternities.
1.
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.
2.
a group of persons associated by or as if by ties of brotherhood.
3.
any group or class of persons having common purposes, interests, etc.:
the medical fraternity.
4.
an organization of laymen for religious or charitable purposes; sodality.
5.
the quality of being brotherly; brotherhood:
liberty, equality, and fraternity.
6.
the relation of a brother or between brothers.
Origin of fraternity
1300-1350
1300-50; Middle English fraternite < Latin frāternitās. See fraternal, -ity
Related forms
interfraternity, adjective
nonfraternity, noun, plural nonfraternities.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for fraternity
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • In the fraternity debates Herzl expressed himself sharply against any open or covert manifestation of such sympathy.

    The Jewish State Theodor Herzl
  • For the cause of just fraternity, and the equal rights of man.

  • A specially gifted member of the fraternity hurries down a beam with a baby in his clutches, which he has powdered with ashes.

    The Delight Makers Adolf Bandelier
  • I shall be happy, on every occasion, to evince my regard for the fraternity.

  • I noticed your body in the parade, and have never seen a finer representation of the fraternity.

    Speeches of Benjamin Harrison Benjamin Harrison
British Dictionary definitions for fraternity

fraternity

/frəˈtɜːnɪtɪ/
noun (pl) -ties
1.
a body of people united in interests, aims, etc: the teaching fraternity Gender-neutral form community
2.
brotherhood
3.
(US & Canadian) a secret society joined by male students, usually functioning as a social club
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 fraternity
n.

early 14c., "body of men associated by common interest," from Old French fraternité (12c.), from Latin fraternitatem (nominative fraternitas) "brotherhood," from fraternus "brotherly," from frater "brother," from PIE *bhrater (see brother). Meaning "state or condition of being as brothers" is from late 15c. College Greek-letter organization sense is from 1777, first in reference to Phi Beta Kappa.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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