Brethren
Brother Broth"er (br[u^][th]"[~e]r), n.; pl. {Brothers} (br[u^][th]"[~e]rz) or {Brethren} (br[e^][th]"r[e^]n). See {Brethren}. [OE. brother, AS. br[=o][eth]or; akin to OS. brothar, D. broeder, OHG. pruodar, G. bruder, Icel. br[=o][eth]ir, Sw. & Dan. broder, Goth. br[=o][thorn]ar, Ir. brathair, W. brawd, pl. brodyr, Lith. brolis, Lett. brahlis, Russ. brat', Pol. & Serv. brat, OSlav. bratr[u^], L. frater, Skr. bhr[=a]t[.r], Zend bratar brother, Gr. fra`thr, fra`twr, a clansman. The common plural is {Brothers}; in the solemn style, {Brethren}, OE. pl. brether, bretheren, AS. dative sing. br[=e][eth]er, nom. pl. br[=o][eth]or, br[=o][eth]ru. [root]258. Cf. {Friar}, {Fraternal}.] 1. A male person who has the same father and mother with another person, or who has one of them only. In the latter case he is more definitely called a {half brother}, or {brother of the half blood}.

Note: A brother having the same mother but different fathers is called a {uterine brother}, and one having the same father but a different mother is called an {agnate brother}, or in (Law) a {consanguine brother}. A brother having the same father and mother is called a {brother-german} or {full brother}. The same modifying terms are applied to {sister} or {sibling}. [1913 Webster +PJC]

Two of us in the churchyard lie, My sister and my brother. --Wordsworth. [1913 Webster]

2. One related or closely united to another by some common tie or interest, as of rank, profession, membership in a society, toil, suffering, etc.; -- used among judges, clergymen, monks, physicians, lawyers, professors of religion, etc. ``A brother of your order.'' --Shak. [1913 Webster]

We few, we happy few, we band of brothers, For he to-day that sheds his blood with me Shall be my brother. --Shak. [1913 Webster]

3. One who, or that which, resembles another in distinctive qualities or traits of character. [1913 Webster]

He also that is slothful in his work is brother to him that is a great waster. --Prov. xviii. 9. [1913 Webster]

That April morn Of this the very brother. --Wordsworth. [1913 Webster]

Note: In Scripture, the term brother is applied to a kinsman by blood more remote than a son of the same parents, as in the case of Abraham and Lot, Jacob and Laban. In a more general sense, brother or brethren is used for fellow-man or fellow-men. [1913 Webster]

For of whom such massacre Make they but of their brethren, men of men? --Milton. [1913 Webster]

{Brother Jonathan}, a humorous designation for the people of the United States collectively. The phrase is said to have originated from Washington's referring to the patriotic Jonathan Trumbull, governor of Connecticut, as ``Brother Jonathan.''

{Blood brother}. See under {Blood}. [1913 Webster]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • brethren — index affinity (family ties), blood, kindred, society Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • Brethren — Breth ren, n.; pl. of {Brother}. [1913 Webster] Note: This form of the plural is used, for the most part, in solemn address, and in speaking of religious sects or fraternities, or their members. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • brethren — alternative plural of BROTHER (Cf. brother) (q.v.); predominant c.1200 1600s, but surviving only in religious usage …   Etymology dictionary

  • brethren — archaic plural of BROTHER(Cf. ↑brotherly). ► PLURAL NOUN ▪ fellow Christians or members of a male religious order …   English terms dictionary

  • brethren — [breth′rən; , breth′ərn] pl.n. [ME bretheren, pl.: see BROTHER] brothers: now chiefly in religious use …   English World dictionary

  • Brethren — The Brethren are a number of Protestant Christian religious bodies using the word brethren in their names. In some cases these similarities of name reflect roots in the same early Brethren groups, and in others the adoption of Brethren as part of …   Wikipedia

  • Brethren — Die Bezeichnung Brethren (deutsch Brüder, Geschwister) bzw. Brethren Church tragen im englischen Sprachraum mehrere protestantische Kirchen und Glaubensgemeinschaften im Namen. Aus der Namensähnlichkeit kann nicht auf gemeinsame historische… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Brethren — En anglais, Brethren est un pluriel de brother (frère) rarement usité. Le terme est principalement utilisé dans les cercles chrétiens, soit pour faire référence à un ordre fraternel, soit pour évoquer une des nombreuses dénominations chrétiennes …   Wikipédia en Français

  • brethren — /bredh rin/, n.pl. 1. fellow members. 2. Archaic. brothers. Syn. 1, 2. See brother. * * * ▪ religious organization       group of Protestant (Protestantism) churches that trace their origin to Schwarzenau, Hesse, where in 1708 a group of seven… …   Universalium

  • Brethren —    Within the Protestant movement, several distinct groups have at different times assumed the name Brethren; the name implied the closeness and intimacy they saw as a feature of their fellowship and also allowed them to distinguish themselves… …   Encyclopedia of Protestantism

  • Brethren — Brother Broth er (br[u^][th] [ e]r), n.; pl. {Brothers} (br[u^][th] [ e]rz) or {Brethren} (br[e^][th] r[e^]n). See {Brethren}. [OE. brother, AS. br[=o][eth]or; akin to OS. brothar, D. broeder, OHG. pruodar, G. bruder, Icel. br[=o][eth]ir, Sw. &… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

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