Definition of fraternity in English:



  • 1[treated as singular or plural] A group of people sharing a common profession or interests.

    ‘members of the hunting fraternity’
    • ‘She said that more than 50 per cent of the population thought hunting should continue, perhaps under licence, which the hunting fraternity would accept.’
    • ‘He has the knack of sharing information in a readable and entertaining way, so that the subject does not seem too technical and boring even to readers outside the fishing fraternity.’
    • ‘His continued popularity as a writer is curious, given that he is widely acknowledged, within the historical fraternity, as decidedly second-rate.’
    • ‘Prior to the senior game going professional, the refereeing fraternity took on board that standards would have to keep pace with the new game and the Rugby Union Referees Panel was formed.’
    • ‘Boxes and hunting lodges proliferated in market towns such as Melton Mowbray, where the hunting fraternity would stay throughout the season.’
    • ‘There is a fraternity of legal professionals in the US who have set up a veritable minefield.’
    • ‘We do not want to see any shortcomings and shortcuts, because clients depend very much on the goodwill and professionalism of the legal fraternity.’
    • ‘Hill walkers obviously lack the kind of influence wielded by the hunting fraternity.’
    • ‘I also resented his attack on financial journalists, as I count most of the finance fraternity among my closest friends.’
    • ‘Last month one senior officer told Scotland on Sunday that ‘certain lawyers’ were too close to the criminal fraternity and appeared to believe they were immune to prosecution.’
    • ‘I imagine something similar to our hunting fraternity.’
    • ‘She is part and parcel of the rowing fraternity and shares her house with three male rowers.’
    • ‘This persecution of the already-overtaxed motorist is becoming almost as hysterical as the persecution of smokers and the hunting fraternity.’
    • ‘His closest friends have always been from outside the professional golf fraternity.’
    • ‘In the quarter century since that evening of enlightenment, what Russell, one of the most popular and affable members of the professional fraternity, has done with his life has varied.’
    • ‘Even the criminal fraternity must be repulsed by this crime and must be setting their minds to exposing the person who did this as soon as possible.’
    • ‘Some members of York's criminal fraternity believed the temporary amnesty to be a ‘set up’ and that they would be arrested on sight, and would therefore not be attending.’
    • ‘To his bereft family and friends in the racing fraternity we offer our condolences for their great loss and our appreciation for the memories of this brave young man.’
    • ‘He teaches himself the art of forgery, and his talents are in demand by the criminal fraternity.’
    • ‘It is a passion shared by an exclusive fraternity to which the geographical accident of birth in a traditional hurling area is the only passport.’
    profession, body of workers
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    1. 1.1North American A male students' society in a university or college.
      • ‘Other efforts to help students utilize their time and decrease their stress are offered through the university recreation center and individual sororities and fraternities.’
      • ‘Anyone who has been a member of a sorority or fraternity will be acquainted with some of the letter names.’
      • ‘Locally, businesses and Iowa State University fraternities and sororities also contributed.’
      • ‘Hazing has a deep-rooted association with college fraternities, athletics, and the military.’
      • ‘This incident is particularly distressing to the members of the University administration because all fraternities and sororities participated in a workshop a year ago to address a similar situation at another institution.’
      • ‘Targeted populations include freshmen, sorority and fraternity members, and students who have been caught violating college alcohol policies.’
      • ‘It has a gay fraternity, a lesbian sorority, and several gay student groups.’
      • ‘Funding would support new systems in college dormitories as well as fraternity and sorority housing.’
      • ‘Purdue University suspended a fraternity for five years and disciplined two others in April for various infractions during a party and during a fight at the student union.’
      • ‘Administrators and faculty leaders have pushed for integration of the school's fraternities and sororities.’
      • ‘He was also active in intramural athletics and a dramatics group and was president of his college fraternity.’
      • ‘Single-sex social organizations, such as fraternities and sororities, may also affect late adolescents' attitudes and actions.’
      • ‘It seems the awful practice of hazing is not just limited to college sororities and fraternities.’
      • ‘Students who lived on campus and were involved in fraternities, sororities or extracurricular activities were less likely to drop out of college.’
      • ‘In the 38 years since blacks students were admitted to the University of Alabama, none of the school's white fraternities and sororities has knowingly accepted an African American as a member.’
      • ‘Our conversation concerned our roles as fraternity and sorority people while in college.’
      • ‘During the course of the weekend, the fraternities and sororities on campus competed against each other in a variety of events.’
      • ‘America's Black college-based fraternity and sorority movement is rapidly approaching two historic milestones.’
      • ‘The news item was on college fraternities - or ‘frat boys’ - and their relationship to violence against women.’
      • ‘The projects themselves were trivial, closer to a test contrived by a college fraternity than a business school, and that was the point.’
      society, club, association, guild, lodge, union, organization, alliance, brotherhood
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    2. 1.2A religious or Masonic society or guild.
      • ‘They belong to the Greek Orthodox fraternity, which shares control over the church with other denominations but is the dominant force within the sacred site.’
      • ‘The British converted it into an Anglican Church in 1795 and in 1949 it joined the fraternity of the Church of South India.’
      • ‘It has smaller fraternities of brothers living among the poorest of the poor in Bangladesh, Calcutta and Brazil, but the center of the community is Taize.’
      • ‘Many noted that the fraternity served the churches through its inculcation of moral virtues and brotherly love.’
      • ‘This, he said, had helped ease the poverty levels and called on the Church fraternity to emulate the Catholics' gesture.’
      • ‘Thus, membership of one of the guilds or fraternities which became common features of the Christian life in towns in this period might require a substantial entry fee as well as many incidental expenses later.’
      • ‘As one of the oldest fraternities in existence today, it is not surprising that Freemasonry ‘places much importance on history which shapes and determines much of what we do,’ the Lodge Pattaya West Winds Master said.’
      • ‘Katherine was also the member of at least two religious fraternities that had dedications to St Katherine.’
      • ‘He appealed to Church leaders to consult more with members of the Christian fraternity before making statements on behalf of their members to avoid divisions in the church.’
      • ‘For centuries, traditional Maya dances have been preserved by the religious men's fraternities called cofradias.’
      • ‘The rest of the church fraternity in NZ becomes an easy target, an easy place to direct peoples anger.’
      • ‘During this time churches had been plundered, pious fraternities dissolved, new monastic vows forbidden, and many religious houses closed down.’
      • ‘At the meeting, there were some who wanted him put on notice that he had violated the protocols of episcopal fraternity by acting as he did.’
      • ‘Genuine synthesis was never a feasible proposition given the Muslim religious fraternity's profound horror and disdain of native traditions.’
      • ‘It was about differences. [Interruption] I say to the member opposite, who is ranting, that at that time there was difference between the religious fraternity.’
      • ‘Brothers of the fraternity gave him an update of the ‘situation’ to proceed further.’
  • 2[mass noun] Friendship and mutual support within a group.

    ‘the ideals of liberty, equality, and fraternity’
    • ‘Our dire need is harmony, fraternity and solidarity among the people.’
    • ‘Close friendship and fraternity between the gymnasts from the socialist countries prevailed.’
    • ‘Liberty, fraternity and equality must be reclaimed for the millions of the deprived and oppressed of the Indian earth.’
    • ‘The story that I want to tell is the story of liberty, equality and fraternity, which seemed to me to be the governing virtues of the order today.’
    • ‘The Belgian band encapsulated the friendly spirit of fraternity that lies at the heart of folk.’
    • ‘For this, we will have to adopt the concept of brotherhood and fraternity and work together, regardless of caste and creed.’
    • ‘You do us great honour and your being here shows that it is a bond of friendship, understanding our fraternity.’
    • ‘Yet the rest of the movie is keen to the ideals of liberation and fraternity.’
    • ‘Freedom, equality, fraternity - France's founding principles - are still seminal terms for the 40 year old.’
    • ‘I want increased liberty, equality and fraternity, not a diminution of democracy as we are tiptoed into totalitarianism and authoritarianism.’
    • ‘Many of the artisans and labourers supported the ideals of that revolution-liberty, equality and fraternity.’
    • ‘Freedom, democracy and fraternity are people's slogans and globalization and liberalization are the slogans of imperialism.’
    • ‘The cross and the resurrection should be the source of communion and fraternity.’
    • ‘The French Revolutionary motto of ‘liberty, fraternity and equality’ is as vivid, over two hundred years after it was written, as any image on the matter.’
    • ‘In the cradle of liberty, equality and fraternity, a presidential candidate is accused of bigotry, intolerance and some say anti-Semitism.’
    • ‘The rowdies were given a free hand to subvert justice, equality, liberty and fraternity.’
    brotherhood, fellowship, kinship, friendship, companionship, support, mutual support, solidarity, community, union, togetherness
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Middle English: from Old French fraternite, from Latin fraternitas, from fraternus (see fraternal).