- 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."Two of us in the churchyard lie, My sister and my brother." [Wordsworth.]
- 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 brotherof your order." [Shak.]"We few, we happy few, we band of brothers, For he to-day that sheds his blood with me Shall be my brother." [Shak.]
- One who, or that which, resembles another in distinctive qualities or traits of character."He also that is slothful in his work is brother to him that is a great waster." [Prov. xviii. 9.]"That April morn Of this the very brother." [Wordsworth.]"For of whom such massacre Make they but of their brethren, men of men?" [Milton.]
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.
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.
Etymology: OE. brother, AS. brōðor; akin to OS. brothar, D. broeder, OHG. pruodar, G. bruder, Icel. brōðir, Sw. & Dan. broder, Goth. brōþar, Ir. brathair, W. brawd, pl. brodyr, Lith. brolis, Lett. brahlis, Russ. brat', Pol. & Serv. brat, OSlav. bratrŭ, L. frater, Skr. bhrātṛ, 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. brēðer, nom. pl. brōðor brōðru. √258. Cf. Friar Fraternal