AskDefine | Define fraternal

Dictionary Definition

fraternal adj
1 of or relating to a fraternity or society of usually men; "a fraternal order"
2 (of twins) derived from two separate fertilized ova; "fraternal twins are biovular" [syn: biovular] [ant: identical]
3 like or characteristic of or befitting a brother; "brotherly feelings"; "close fraternal ties" [syn: brotherly, brotherlike] [ant: sisterly]

User Contributed Dictionary



fraternel, fraternalis, from fraternus.


  1. Of brothers (fraternal twins)
  2. Related through a brother (fraternal nephew)
  3. In need of a brother or sister or friend.
  4. Friendly or brotherly (e.g. fraternal relations between socialist parties in different countries).
  5. platonic (as fraternal love - brotherly love)



  • (relating to a brother, with regard to gender) sororal
  • (relating to a brother, with regard to heredity) paternal, maternal


  • Greek: αδελφικός (adelfikos)
  • French: fraternel

Extensive Definition

Fraternal can refer to:
  • A fraternal benefit society is a non-profit, mutual aid organization that insures members and their families and maintains an active lodge system. Members of a fraternal benefit society come together as local volunteer groups that conduct activities to benefit members and their communities. In 2006, members delivered 93 million hours of volunteer service and the societies spent nearly $400 million on fraternal and charitable programs.
  • A friendly society or fraternal organization.
  • A term relating to an organization which consists mainly of men.
  • In biology: Embryos derived from two separate fertilized ova; "fraternal twins are biovular"

See also

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

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