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Definitions of Sister

  1. (noun) A female (daughter) with the same parent as another individual; female sibling.
  2. (noun) A female member of a group such as a sorority or religion.

Examples of Sister

Sister Pronunciation

Pronunciation Usage Guide

Syllabification: sis·ter

Audio Pronunciation

– American English
– British English

Phonetic Spelling

  • American English – /sIs-tuhr/
  • British English – /sIs-tuh/

International Phonetic Alphabet

  • American English – /ˈsɪstər/
  • British English – /ˈsɪstə/

Usage Notes

  • Plural: sisters
  • An individual’s older sister is called a big sister and a younger sister is called a little sister, and sibling’s wife is a sister-in-law.
  • An individual’s sister with only one parent in common is a half sister (half-sister) or step sister (step-sister).
  • The male equivalent of sister is a brother.
  • An individual’s parent’s sister is an aunt.
  • Variant spelling: sista
  • Also called sister sibling.
  • Informally called: sis
  • The term (adjective) sororal means relating to sisters or (adjective) sisterly tendencies, and sisters share a (noun) sisterhood.

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Additional Information

Related Terms


Strong, Bryan, Christine DeVault, and Theodore F. Cohen. 2011. The Marriage and Family Experience: Intimate Relationships in a Changing Society. 11th ed. Boston: Cengage Learning.

Cite the Definition of Sister

ASA – American Sociological Association (5th edition)

Bell, Kenton, ed. 2014. “sister.” In Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Retrieved June 23, 2024 (https://sociologydictionary.org/sister/).

APA – American Psychological Association (6th edition)

sister. (2014). In K. Bell (Ed.), Open education sociology dictionary. Retrieved from https://sociologydictionary.org/sister/

Chicago/Turabian: Author-Date – Chicago Manual of Style (16th edition)

Bell, Kenton, ed. 2014. “sister.” In Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Accessed June 23, 2024. https://sociologydictionary.org/sister/.

MLA – Modern Language Association (7th edition)

“sister.” Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Ed. Kenton Bell. 2014. Web. 23 Jun. 2024. <https://sociologydictionary.org/sister/>.