Definition of fratricide in English:



  • 1[mass noun] The killing of one's brother or sister.

    ‘Cain justifies his fratricide with lethal logic’
    • ‘Police in Uttar Pradesh also say that there have been five cases of fratricide in the past year motivated by sexual jealousy or rivalry.’
    • ‘I can even, to a lesser degree, comprehend stalkers, serial killers, matricide, fratricide, genocide.’
    • ‘It's about fratricide, patricide, matricide - the ultimate dysfunctional family.’
    • ‘With songs about lost love, broken hearts, fratricide, betrayal, drug addiction and the fear of death, the new record delves deeply into realms of experience that many lesser artists shy away from.’
    killing, homicide, assassination, liquidation, extermination, execution, slaughter, butchery, massacre
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1[count noun]A person who kills their brother or sister.
    2. 1.2The accidental killing of one's own forces in war.
      ‘the Vietnam War saw fratricide increase because of the close-in jungle fighting’
      • ‘Finally, the fast-paced nature of the ground invasion increased the risk of fratricide.’
      • ‘To prevent fratricide, there must be a standard and well-rehearsed method of clearance for direct fires.’
      • ‘Fearing incidents of fratricide, the Air Force wanted a friendly aircraft to make two types of independent verification of hostility before its fighter aircraft launched air-to-air missiles.’
      • ‘Misguided or unguided precision munitions can lead to significant collateral damage and fratricide.’
      • ‘This early involvement of aviation into the ground commander's scheme of maneuver greatly reduced the risk of fratricide and provided the flexibility and situational awareness that could only be achieved through an aerial view.’
      • ‘This is necessary because it will reduce the likelihood of fratricide and give the company commander a better picture of what is to his front.’
      • ‘This leads to poor situational awareness on the battlefield and increases overall risk, especially fratricide risk.’
      • ‘The ability to locate and identify friendly forces and aircraft on a common, relevant operational picture of the battlespace, for example, greatly reduces the chances for fratricide.’
      • ‘Continuous operations last for days with little respite at night; combat involves lethal weapons and fratricide and accidents occur.’
      • ‘During World War II, 2 percent of all Army combat deaths were caused by fratricide.’
      • ‘It provides better information on where friendly forces are, and it allows forces to plan better, react better and do a lot of things to mitigate the risk of fratricide, he concluded.’
      • ‘Another situational event is the effect of friendly fire on your own troops, fratricide in today's terms.’
      • ‘In addition to ensuring the fires plan was synchronized, we also discussed fire support coordination measures to mitigate risk and reduce fratricide.’
      • ‘Crews conducted numerous tasks during this period, including environmental ‘brownout’ training, blue force tracking training, fratricide prevention and gunnery.’
      • ‘Moreover, because of its accurate target detection and precision strike capability, the risk of fratricide and collateral damage will be greatly reduced.’
      • ‘In addition, the bomber force's precision has reduced or eliminated most negative effects, such as the collateral damage and fratricide associated with their use.’
      • ‘In a more general and more important sense, however, the desire to avoid fratricide and risk has meant a dramatically increased need for battlespace awareness.’
      • ‘Such practice greatly reduces the chance of fratricide and quickly alerts key leaders to possible problems in the middle of a training mission - while there is still time to make corrections.’
      • ‘This ensures the plan meets the commander's guidance, is compatible with all battalion maneuver elements, and reduces the risk of fratricide.’
      • ‘The worst case of fratricide in the Vietnam war occurred during an artillery exchange when the wrong powder charge caused long rounds to hit another U.S. artillery position.’


Late 15th century (denoting a person who kills their brother or sister, derived from Latin fratricida): the primary current sense comes via French from late Latin fratricidium, from frater brother + -cidium (see -cide).