Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Acronyms, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.

everyone and their brother

A large number or a majority of people. Used hyperbolically. Everyone and their brother is going to be at the wedding this July, I hope I can make it too.
See also: and, brother, everyone

Big Brother is watching you

A phrase taken from George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four, meaning one's actions and intentions are being monitored by the government as a means of controlling and suppressing the will of the populace. You have to be careful what you write in an email these days. Big Brother is watching you, after all.
See also: big, brother, watch

everybody and their brother

Used hyperbolically to express a large number or a majority of people. I'm so jealous, everybody and their brother is going on a vacation this summer except for me.
See also: and, brother, everybody

blood brother

A boy or man who has sworn loyalty to another despite not being biologically related. When Jake and Tim entered the battlefield, they became blood brothers, vowing to protect each other from harm's way.
See also: blood, brother

older brother

A male who is older than one or more of his siblings. I'll ask my older brother to help us with the move. Connie's older brother will be there on Saturday, and I'd really like you to meet him. Our neighbor Jim was like an older brother to me when I was growing up.
See also: brother, older

be one's brother's keeper

to be responsible for someone else. (Used of others besides just real brothers.) I can't force these kids to go to school and get an education so they can get jobs. I am not my brother's keeper. You can't expect me to be my brother's keeper. Each of us should be responsible for himself! be one's own man and be one's own master to be someone who is not controlled by other people; to be an independent person. Bert longed to be his own master, but at the same time feared losing the security he had as the employee of a large company. When I go away to college, I'll be my own man. My parents won't be able to tell me what to do anymore.
See also: keeper

everybody and his brother

 and everybody and his uncle
Fig. everybody; lots of people. The state fair was packed. Everybody and his brother was there. Everybody and his uncle was asking me where you was today.
See also: and, brother, everybody

I am not my brother's keeper.

 and Am I my brother's keeper?
Prov. You are not responsible for another person's doings or whereabouts. (Biblical.) Fred: Where's Robert? Jane: Am I my brother's keeper? Jill: How could you let Jane run off like that? Alan: I'm not my brother's keeper.
See also: keeper, not

(soul) brother

a black person's male, black friend. Another brother took a fall last night. Terry's a soul brother, and I'll do anything for him.

Big Brother

a government or a large organization which tries to control every part of people's lives and to know everything about them
Usage notes: In the book 1984 by George Orwell, Big Brother is the very powerful ruler.
Many people are concerned about Big Brother having computer files on them to which they do not have access.
See also: big, brother

a blood brother

a man who has promised to treat another man as his brother, often in a ceremony in which they cut themselves and mix their blood together We were blood brothers - I was ready to die for him.
See also: blood, brother

everyone and his brother

a very large number of people We couldn't get in to see the movie - everyone and his brother had decided to go.
See be on everyone's lips
See also: and, brother, everyone

not be your brother's keeper

  also not be somebody's keeper
to not be responsible for what someone does or for what happens to them It's all too easy for us not to intervene in another country's problems, telling ourselves that we're not our brother's keeper. You shouldn't blame yourself for what's happened to Simon. You're not his keeper, you know.
See also: keeper

big brother

1. n. a personification of the totalitarian state. (From George Orwell’s 1984.) Big brother has changed the tax laws again.
2. n. someone who personifies the totalitarian state: the police, parents, teachers. Big brother says the paper is due tomorrow, or else.
See also: big, brother

blood (brother)

n. a fellow black male. (see also blood.) One of the bloods came up to say hello.
See also: blood, brother

brews brothers

n. (male) beer-drinking college students. (A play on The Blues Brothers, a popular movie released in 1980.) You guys look like the devil and you smell like the brews brothers.
See also: brew, brother

(soul) brother

n. a black person’s male, black friend. Another brother took a fall last night.
See also: brother, soul


References in classic literature ?
Taking me by the hand, at the delivery thereof, Brother, says he, we have given you a fine land, but I believe you will have much trouble in settling it.
He is not here,' I said, supporting the boy, and thinking that he referred to the brother.
To the last, brother, so long as one is left to lead them, after that I do not know
But I am very angry with your brothers, and I shall not rest till I have taken their lives.
He was called Ruy Perez de Viedma," replied the curate, "and he was born in a village in the mountains of Leon; and he mentioned a circumstance connected with his father and his brothers which, had it not been told me by so truthful a man as he was, I should have set down as one of those fables the old women tell over the fire in winter; for he said his father had divided his property among his three sons and had addressed words of advice to them sounder than any of Cato's.
One grey-headed old gentleman came and abused the South-Western Company bitterly to my brother.
They walked into the parlour again; but Jacob, not apparently appreciating the kindness of leaving him to himself, immediately followed his brother, and seated himself, pitchfork grounded, at the table.
And the dwarf married the youngest and the best of the princesses, and was king after her father's death; but his two brothers married the other two sisters.
Being overborne, however, by his brother and his nephew--concerning whom he renews his protestations that he never could have thought they would have been half so glad to see him--he is taken home to an elegant house in all the arrangements of which there is to be observed a pleasant mixture of the originally simple habits of the father and mother with such as are suited to their altered station and the higher fortunes of their children.
My brother is a lively and perhaps sometimes a thoughtless young man; he has had about a week's acquaintance with your friend, and he has known her engagement almost as long as he has known her.
The thought of his little brother became not only his recreation, but the object of his studies.
But when the brothers of Fountain Abbey saw who it was that sang, and how he was clad in the robes of a Gray Friar, they stopped suddenly, the fat little Brother drawing his heavy eyebrows together in a mighty frown, and the thin Brother twisting up his face as though he had sour beer in his mouth.
But Brother Jonah, Sister Martha, and all the needy exiles, held a different point of view.
In the meanwhile, John de Witt, whom we left climbing the stairs, after the conversation with the jailer Gryphus and his daughter Rosa, had reached the door of the cell, where on a mattress his brother Cornelius was resting, after having undergone the preparatory degrees of the torture.
under the name of Baron Rivar, and in the character of her brother) was her brother at all.