AskDefine | Define fratricide

Dictionary Definition



1 a person who murders their brother or sister
2 the act of murdering your own brother or sister
3 fire that injures or kills an ally [syn: friendly fire]

User Contributed Dictionary



From frater: brother + caedere: to kill.


  1. The killing of one's brother (or sister).
  2. A person who commits this crime.
    • 1936: H A L Fisher: A History of Europe: Edward Arnold Publishers P.376.
      "The conversion of Russia to Christianity was effected, it would seem by a monster of cruelty and lust. That Vladimir (980 - 1015) was a fratricide, who maintained 3,500 concubines, has not prevented his canonization as a saint."
  3. military by extension The killing of a comrade in arms or one who commits this act (intentionally or unintentionally).
    • 1999, Richard M. Swain, Lucky War: Third Army in Desert Storm, DIANE Publishing, p. 180
      "From January on, Third Army also spent a good deal of energy trying to solve the problem of fratricide, the killing or injuring of one's own forces by what is ironically called 'friendly fire,'..."


killing of one's sibling
person who commits this crime

Related terms

Extensive Definition

Fratricide (from the Latin word frater, meaning: "brother" and cide meaning to kill) is the act of a person killing his or her brother.
Related concepts are sororicide (the killing of one's sister), child murder (the killing of an unrelated child), infanticide (the killing of a child under the age of one year), filicide (the killing of one's child), patricide (the killing of one's father), matricide (the killing of one's mother), mariticide (the killing of one's husband) and uxoricide (the killing of one's wife). See also siblicide
The term may also be used to refer to friendly fire incidents. In a United States military context, it may also refer to an incident where the catastrophic failure and disintegration of one jet engine in a twin-engined fighter aircraft causes the damage or destruction of the second engine, and possibly leads to the loss of the entire aircraft.

Historical fratricides



Fratricide in legend and fiction

Legend and mythology

Literature and film

Film and television

Video games

  • In Fatal Frame II: Crimson Butterfly, when twin girls were not available, twin brothers were used in a ritual in which one brother strangles the other. The one documented occurrence of this is when Itsuki Tachibana killed his brother Mutsuki. It is implied that Ryokan Kurosawa, the father of Yae and Sae Kurosawa, also killed his twin brother.
  • In Final Fantasy XII, Vayne Solidor, the main antagonist and eventual final boss, kills two of his older brothers at the order of his father, Emperor Gramis Solidor (whom Vayne eventually kills as well).
  • In Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver, Raziel kills his vampire brothers as he seeks out his creator Kain.
  • In Portal, there is an achievement called Fratricide. You must put your faithful Companion Cube into a fire.
  • In the Metal Gear (series), Solid Snake commits fratricide and patricide.
  • In Devil May Cry, Dante kills his twin brother Vergil (under the guise of Nelo Angelo), unaware of the fact that Nelo Angelo was actually his twin brother.


Ottoman Empire

In the Ottoman Empire a policy of judicial royal fratricide was introduced by Sultan Mehmet II. When a new Sultan ascended to the throne he would imprison all of his surviving brothers and kill them by strangulation with a silk cord as soon as he had produced his first male heir. The largest killing took place on the succession of Mehmed III when 16 of his brothers were killed and buried with their father. The aim was to prevent civil war as Islamic cultures had no fixed rules for royal succession (such as primogeniture) and bloody conflicts would erupt as the old king was approaching the end. The practice was abandoned in the 17th century by Ahmed I, replaced by imprisonment in the Kafes. This practice is alleged to have sent several future Sultans mad.
fratricide in German: Brudermord

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

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