Brethren



fellow members.
Archaic. brothers.
a male offspring having both parents in common with another offspring; a male sibling.
Also called half brother. a male offspring having only one parent in common with another offspring.
a stepbrother.
a male numbered among the same kinship group, nationality, ethnicity, profession, etc., as another; an associate; a fellow member, fellow countryman, fellow man, etc.:
a fraternity brother.
Ecclesiastical.

(often initial capital letter) a male numbered among the lay members of a religious organization that has a priesthood.
a man who devotes himself to the duties of a religious order without taking holy orders, or while preparing for holy orders.

brothers, all members of a particular racial or ethnic group, or of the human race in general:
All men are brothers.
Slang. fellow; buddy:
Brother, can you spare a dime?
Informal. a term used to refer to or address a fellow black man; soul brother.
Slang. (used to express disappointment, disgust, or surprise).
Contemporary Examples

Why Israel Is Not an Apartheid State Peter Beinart March 21, 2012
Up to Speed: Five Things You Need to Know on Syria Christopher Dickey September 2, 2013
America’s Rabbi Shmuley Boteach Scores Eric Cantor’s Endorsement Allison Yarrow April 11, 2012
Ruth Bader Ginsburg Levels With Us on Why She’s Not Retiring Jeff Greenfield September 24, 2014
Which Bank Is the Worst? Gary Rivlin October 24, 2011

Historical Examples

Expositions of Holy Scripture Alexander Maclaren
Harriet, The Moses of Her People Sarah H. Bradford
Six Girls and the Tea Room Marion Ames Taggart
Tanglewood Tales Nathaniel Hawthorne
The Travels of Sir John Mandeville John Mandeville

plural noun
(archaic) a plural of brother
fellow members of a religion, sect, society, etc
noun (pl) brothers, (archaic except when referring to fellow members of a religion, sect, society, etc) brethren
a male person having the same parents as another person
short for half-brother, stepbrother

a male person belonging to the same group, profession, nationality, trade union, etc, as another or others; fellow member
(as modifier): brother workers

comrade; friend: used as a form of address
(Christianity)

a member of a male religious order who undertakes work for the order without actually being in holy orders
a lay member of a male religious order

related adjective fraternal
interjection
(slang) an exclamation of amazement, disgust, surprise, disappointment, etc
n.
n.

A man; fellow; guy •Used in addressing strangers: I don’t know you, brother, but you said a mouthful (1910+)
A black person; blood •Common and significant fr 1960s: All you brothers here, and you white people too, got to take care of business (1920+ Black)
A fellow professional; colleague: I’d like to ask Brother Donaldson something, if I may (mid1300s+)

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