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[fra-tri-sahyd, frey-] /ˈfræ trɪˌsaɪd, ˈfreɪ-/
a person who kills his or her brother.
the act of killing one's brother.
Origin of fratricide
1490-1500; (def 1) < Middle French < frātricīda, equivalent to frātri- (combining form of frāter) brother + -cīda -cide; (def 2) < Middle French < Late Latin frātricīdium, equivalent to frātricīd(a) + -ium noun suffix
Related forms
fratricidal, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for fratricide
  • The task of getting rid of civilian casualties and fratricide would be even tougher.
  • Until then, the two parties must develop ways of cohabiting, avoiding the fratricide of the past.
  • Sometimes comrades in arms die and the military call it fratricide or, more chillingly, friendly fire.
  • The practices of warfare and fratricide have ceased.
  • The attempted fratricide has been called a family tragedy.
  • Never underestimate the ability of the charity world to commit fratricide.
  • The question now is whether those interconnections will encourage reconciliation, or all the more remorseless fratricide.
  • Humans, for whom fratricide is typically not part of the menu of options, have developed subtler ways of competing.
  • The large size may also reduce fratricide or premature fledging.
British Dictionary definitions for fratricide


/ˈfrætrɪˌsaɪd; ˈfreɪ-/
the act of killing one's brother
a person who kills his brother
(military) the destruction of or interference with a nuclear missile before it can strike its target caused by the earlier explosion of a warhead at a nearby target
Derived Forms
fratricidal, adjective
Word Origin
C15: from Latin frātricīda; see frater1, -cide
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for fratricide

mid-15c., "person who kills a brother;" 1560s, "act of killing a brother," from Latin fratricida "brother-slayer," from frater "brother" (see brother) + cida "killer," or cidum "a killing," both from caedere "to kill, to cut down" (see -cide). Among several Old English words for this were broðorbana "one who kills a brother;" broðorcwealm "act of killing a brother."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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