American Dictionary of the English Language

Dictionary Search


BROTHER, noun plural brothers or brethren. [Latin frater.]

1. A human male born of the same father and mother. A male by one of the parents only is called a half-brother, or brother of the half blood.

2. Any one closely united; an associate; as a band of brothers.

3. One that resembles another in manners.

He that is slothful in his work is brother to him that is a great waster. Proverbs 18:9.

In scripture, the term brother is applied to a kinsman by blood more remote that a son of the same parents; as in the case of Abraham and Lot, Jacob and Laban. Persons of the same profession call each other brother as judges, clergymen, professors of religion, members of societies united in a common cause, monks and the like.

Kings give to each other the title of brother address their congregations by the title of brethren. In a more general sense, brother or brethren is used for man in general; all men being children of the same primitive ancestors, and forming one race of beings.

BROTHER-german is a brother by the father's and mother's side, in contradistinction to a uterine brother or by the mother only.