Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Day for June 23, 2020 is:

fraternize • FRAT-er-nyze  • verb

1 : to associate or mingle as brothers or on fraternal terms

2 a : to associate on close terms with members of a hostile group especially when contrary to military orders

b : to be friendly or amiable


The boss warned that fraternizing with the junior employees could be a risky career move for a manager.

“Today’s social distancing orders make the commonplace themes of pre-COVID ads—singles fraternizing in crowded bars, teen potato chip parties, folks all feasting from a communal bucket of fried chicken—look like cautionary tales, the unwitting equivalent of a ‘This is your brain on drugs’ PSA.” — Lorraine Ali, The Los Angeles Times, 23 Apr. 2020

Did you know?

Both fraternize and fraternal (meaning “of, relating to, or involving brothers”) come to us, by way of Medieval Latin, from Latin frater, meaning “brother.” Other frater descendants in English include friar, fraternity, and confraternity (“a society devoted especially to a religious or charitable cause”). Even brother itself shares a relationship with frater. These days, although fraternize can still refer to a brotherly association or simple friendliness, it often occurs in contexts, such as “fraternizing with the enemy,” implying friendliness toward someone who would be better avoided.

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