a. Of or relating to brothers: a close fraternal tie.
b. Showing comradeship; brotherly.
a. Of or constituting a fraternity: a fraternal association.
b. Roman Catholic Church Of or constituting a mendicant order such as the Dominicans or Franciscans.
3. Biology Of, relating to, or being a twin developed from two separately fertilized ova; dizygotic.
[Middle English, from Old French fraternel, from Medieval Latin frāternālis, from Latin frāternus, from frāter, brother; see bhrāter- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.