Definition of fraternity in English:



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

    ‘members of the hunting fraternity’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘I also resented his attack on financial journalists, as I count most of the finance fraternity among my closest friends.’
    • ‘We do not want to see any shortcomings and shortcuts, because clients depend very much on the goodwill and professionalism of the legal fraternity.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘There is a fraternity of legal professionals in the US who have set up a veritable minefield.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Boxes and hunting lodges proliferated in market towns such as Melton Mowbray, where the hunting fraternity would stay throughout the season.’
    • ‘This persecution of the already-overtaxed motorist is becoming almost as hysterical as the persecution of smokers and the hunting 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.’
    • ‘She said that more than 50 per cent of the population thought hunting should continue, perhaps under licence, which the hunting fraternity would accept.’
    • ‘His continued popularity as a writer is curious, given that he is widely acknowledged, within the historical fraternity, as decidedly second-rate.’
    • ‘She is part and parcel of the rowing fraternity and shares her house with three male rowers.’
    • ‘He teaches himself the art of forgery, and his talents are in demand by the criminal fraternity.’
    • ‘His closest friends have always been from outside the professional golf fraternity.’
    • ‘Hill walkers obviously lack the kind of influence wielded by the hunting fraternity.’
    profession, body of workers
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    1. 1.1North American A male students' society in a university or college.
      • ‘It seems the awful practice of hazing is not just limited to college sororities and fraternities.’
      • ‘Targeted populations include freshmen, sorority and fraternity members, and students who have been caught violating college alcohol policies.’
      • ‘America's Black college-based fraternity and sorority movement is rapidly approaching two historic milestones.’
      • ‘Administrators and faculty leaders have pushed for integration of the school's fraternities and sororities.’
      • ‘The news item was on college fraternities - or ‘frat boys’ - and their relationship to violence against women.’
      • ‘Funding would support new systems in college dormitories as well as fraternity and sorority housing.’
      • ‘The projects themselves were trivial, closer to a test contrived by a college fraternity than a business school, and that was the point.’
      • ‘Students who lived on campus and were involved in fraternities, sororities or extracurricular activities were less likely to drop out of college.’
      • ‘It has a gay fraternity, a lesbian sorority, and several gay student groups.’
      • ‘Locally, businesses and Iowa State University fraternities and sororities also contributed.’
      • ‘During the course of the weekend, the fraternities and sororities on campus competed against each other in a variety of events.’
      • ‘Our conversation concerned our roles as fraternity and sorority people while in 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.’
      • ‘Single-sex social organizations, such as fraternities and sororities, may also affect late adolescents' attitudes and actions.’
      • ‘Hazing has a deep-rooted association with college fraternities, athletics, and the military.’
      • ‘Other efforts to help students utilize their time and decrease their stress are offered through the university recreation center and individual sororities and fraternities.’
      • ‘He was also active in intramural athletics and a dramatics group and was president of his college fraternity.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Anyone who has been a member of a sorority or fraternity will be acquainted with some of the letter names.’
      • ‘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.’
      society, club, association, guild, lodge, union, organization, alliance, brotherhood
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    2. 1.2 A religious or Masonic society or guild.
      • ‘Genuine synthesis was never a feasible proposition given the Muslim religious fraternity's profound horror and disdain of native traditions.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The British converted it into an Anglican Church in 1795 and in 1949 it joined the fraternity of the Church of South India.’
      • ‘Katherine was also the member of at least two religious fraternities that had dedications to St Katherine.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Many noted that the fraternity served the churches through its inculcation of moral virtues and brotherly love.’
      • ‘During this time churches had been plundered, pious fraternities dissolved, new monastic vows forbidden, and many religious houses closed down.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘This, he said, had helped ease the poverty levels and called on the Church fraternity to emulate the Catholics' gesture.’
      • ‘Brothers of the fraternity gave him an update of the ‘situation’ to proceed further.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
  • 2mass noun Friendship and mutual support within a group.

    ‘the ideals of liberty, equality, and fraternity’
    • ‘In the cradle of liberty, equality and fraternity, a presidential candidate is accused of bigotry, intolerance and some say anti-Semitism.’
    • ‘Liberty, fraternity and equality must be reclaimed for the millions of the deprived and oppressed of the Indian earth.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Freedom, equality, fraternity - France's founding principles - are still seminal terms for the 40 year old.’
    • ‘The Belgian band encapsulated the friendly spirit of fraternity that lies at the heart of folk.’
    • ‘The cross and the resurrection should be the source of communion and fraternity.’
    • ‘I want increased liberty, equality and fraternity, not a diminution of democracy as we are tiptoed into totalitarianism and authoritarianism.’
    • ‘Freedom, democracy and fraternity are people's slogans and globalization and liberalization are the slogans of imperialism.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Close friendship and fraternity between the gymnasts from the socialist countries prevailed.’
    • ‘Yet the rest of the movie is keen to the ideals of liberation and fraternity.’
    • ‘Many of the artisans and labourers supported the ideals of that revolution-liberty, equality and fraternity.’
    • ‘The rowdies were given a free hand to subvert justice, equality, liberty and fraternity.’
    • ‘Our dire need is harmony, fraternity and solidarity among the people.’
    • ‘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.’
    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).