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6 definitions found
 for Brethren
From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 :

  Plymouth Brethren \Plym"outh Breth"ren\
     The members of a religious sect which first appeared at
     Plymouth, England, about 1830. They protest against
     sectarianism, and reject all official ministry or clergy.
     Also called Brethren, Christian Brethren, Plymouthists,
     etc. The Darbyites are a division of the Brethren.
     [1913 Webster]

From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 :

  Dunker \Dun"ker\, prop. n. [G. tunken to dip.]
     One of a religious denomination whose tenets and practices
     are mainly those of the Baptists, but partly those of the
     Quakers; -- called also Tunkers, Dunkards, Dippers,
     and, by themselves, Brethren, and German Baptists, and
     they call their denomination the Church of the Brethren.
     [1913 Webster]
     Note: The denomination was founded in Germany in 1708, but
           after a few years the members emigrated to the United
           States; they were opposed to military service and
           taking legal oaths, and practiced trine immersion.
           [1913 Webster + WordNet 1.5]
     Seventh-day Dunkers, a sect which separated from the
        Dunkers and formed a community, in 1728. They keep the
        seventh day or Saturday as the Sabbath.
        [1913 Webster]

From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 :

  Brethren \Breth"ren\, n.;
     pl. of Brother.
     [1913 Webster]
     Note: This form of the plural is used, for the most part, in
           solemn address, and in speaking of religious sects or
           fraternities, or their members.
           [1913 Webster]

From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 :

  Brother \Broth"er\ (br[u^][th]"[~e]r), n.; pl. Brothers
     (br[u^][th]"[~e]rz) or Brethren (br[e^][th]"r[e^]n). See
     Brethren. [OE. brother, AS. br[=o][eth]or; akin to OS.
     brothar, D. broeder, OHG. pruodar, G. bruder, Icel.
     br[=o][eth]ir, Sw. & Dan. broder, Goth. br[=o][thorn]ar, Ir.
     brathair, W. brawd, pl. brodyr, Lith. brolis, Lett. brahlis,
     Russ. brat', Pol. & Serv. brat, OSlav. bratr[u^], L. frater,
     Skr. bhr[=a]t[.r], 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. br[=e][eth]er, nom. pl. br[=o][eth]or, br[=o][eth]ru.
     [root]258. Cf. Friar, Fraternal.]
     1. 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.
     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.
           [1913 Webster +PJC]
                 Two of us in the churchyard lie,
                 My sister and my brother.          --Wordsworth.
           [1913 Webster]
     2. 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 brother of your order." --Shak.
        [1913 Webster]
              We few, we happy few, we band of brothers,
              For he to-day that sheds his blood with me
              Shall be my brother.                  --Shak.
        [1913 Webster]
     3. One who, or that which, resembles another in distinctive
        qualities or traits of character.
        [1913 Webster]
              He also that is slothful in his work is brother to
              him that is a great waster.           --Prov. xviii.
        [1913 Webster]
              That April morn
              Of this the very brother.             --Wordsworth.
        [1913 Webster]
     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.
           [1913 Webster]
                 For of whom such massacre
                 Make they but of their brethren, men of men?
           [1913 Webster]
     Brother Jonathan, a humorous designation for the people of
        the United States collectively. The phrase is said to have
        originated from Washington's referring to the patriotic
        Jonathan Trumbull, governor of Connecticut, as "Brother
     Blood brother. See under Blood.
        [1913 Webster]

From WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006) :

      n 1: (plural) the lay members of a male religious order

From Moby Thesaurus II by Grady Ward, 1.0 :

  60 Moby Thesaurus words for "brethren":
     assembly, aunt, auntie, blood brother, brother, bub, bubba, bud,
     buddy, churchgoers, class, congregation, country cousin, cousin,
     cousin once removed, cousin twice removed, daughter, father,
     first cousin, flock, fold, foster brother, frater, grandnephew,
     grandniece, granduncle, great-aunt, great-uncle, half brother,
     kid brother, laity, laymen, minyan, mother, nephew, niece,
     nonclerics, nonordained persons, nuncle, nunks, nunky, parish,
     parishioners, people, second cousin, seculars, sheep, sis, sissy,
     sister, sister-german, sistern, society, son, stepbrother,
     stepsister, unc, uncle, uncs, uterine brother

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