one of two or more individuals having at least one parent in common
(Redirected from Sister)

The siblings are the sisters and brothers of a person.

Two Sisters created by William-Adolphe Bouguereau.

Types of siblings


There are several different types of siblings.

  • Full-Siblings (Full Brothers/Full Sisters or Brothers/Sisters): These types of siblings have both the same father and mother and are the most common type of siblings found.
    • Twins: There are two types of twins: identical and fraternal. Identical twins have exactly the same genes; fraternal twins are no more similar than regular siblings. Often, twins with a close relationship will develop a twin language from infant-hood, a language only shared and understood between the two. Studies suggest that identical twins appear to display more twin talk than fraternal twins. At about 3 years of age, twin talk usually ends.[1] Researchers were interested in subjects who were in the later years of life. They knew that past studies suggested that genetics played a larger role in one's personality in the earlier years of their life. However, they were curious about whether or not this was true later on in life. They gathered subjects with a mean age of 59, who included 99 pairs of identical twins, and 229 pairs of fraternal twins who were all reared apart. They also gathered twins who were reared together: 160 pairs of identical twins, and 212 pairs of fraternal twins. They studied the most heritable traits in regard to personality, which are emotionality, activity level and sociability; also known as EAS. This study found that identical twins resembled each other twice as much as fraternal twins, due to genetic factors. Furthermore, environment influences personality substantially; however, it has little to do with whether they are reared together or apart. This study also suggests that heritability is substantial, but not as substantial as for younger subjects; it has less significance later on in life.[2]
  • Half-Siblings (Half-brothers/Half-sisters): These types siblings have only one parent that is the same. They either only have the same father or the same mother. Those with the same mother, but different father are called uterine half-siblings or maternal half-brothers/half-sisters and those with the same father, but different mother are called agnate half-siblings or paternal half-brothers/half sisters.
  • Step Siblings (Stepbrothers/Stepsisters): These types of siblings have different fathers and mothers, but one of their parents is married to a parent of the other one.
Example: John and Tom are step brothers because John's father is married to Tom's mother.
  • Three-quarter (3/4) Siblings (3/4 Brothers/3/4 Sisters): These types of siblings have one common parent, while their unshared parents have a mean consanguinity of 50%. This means that the unshared parents are either siblings or parent and child (similar terminology is used in horse breeding, where it occurs more frequently). Three-quarter siblings share more genes than half siblings, but fewer than full siblings.
  • Foster Siblings (Foster Brothers/Foster Sisters): These siblings are children who are raised in the same foster home, foster children of the person's parents, or foster parents' biological children.
  • Adoptive Siblings: (Adoptive Brothers/Adoptive Sisters) These types of siblings have different fathers and mothers, but one of their parents adopts another child causing the children to be adoptive siblings. This works with more than 2 adoptive children or one biological child and an adoptive child. This is a variation of step siblings.
  • In-laws (Brother-in-law/Sister-in-law): One's sibling-in-law is the sibling of one's spouse or the spouse of one's sibling.
  • Co-Siblings-in-Law: They are one's co-sibling-in-law is one's sibling-in-law's spouse or sibling: One's sibling's spouse's sibling or one's spouse's sibling's spouse.
  • Godsiblings (Godbrothers/Godsisters): These types of siblings are the children (biological, step, or adoptive) of one's godparent, or the godchildren of one’s parent; or two or more children who have a common godparent: the other godchildren on one’s godparent. If the godparents are not chosen within the family, they are unrelated by blood.
  • In cultures with milk kinship, a milk sibling is a person who is not one's biological sibling, but was nursed by the same woman as oneself. The concept exists in Islamic law and Jewish law.
    • In Islam someone who is breastfed by a woman who is not their birth mother become siblings to the children of that woman if they are less than 2 years old and have been breastfed five times or more by that woman.
  • Blood Siblings (Blood Brothers/Blood Sisters): Not to be confused with a consanguineous sibling, a blood brother or blood sister is a person to whom one has sworn loyalty through a ritual blood oath. The custom is rare in Western culture.
  • Cross Siblings (Cross Brothers/Cross Sisters): These types of siblings are individuals who share one or more half-siblings; if one person has at least one maternal half-sibling and at least one paternal half-sibling, the maternal and paternal half-siblings are cross-siblings to each other. Stepsiblings are not cross-siblings unless their married parents have a child together. Alternatively, cross-siblings may not be stepsiblings at all, in the event that the respective parents have a child without marrying, or the cross-siblings are born after the parents of the mutual half-sibling have separated. Cross-siblings are not biologically related, unless the parents have a biological relationship irrespective of their children's cross-sibling status.[3]
  • Pseudosiblings (Pseudo Brothers/Pseudo Sisters): These types of siblings are someone that is not a sibling, but has a relationship like a sibling, or that one considers to be like a sibling. Pseudosiblings are often not related by blood (consanguinity) and are typically very close friends.


  1. Hayashi, C; Mikami, H; Nishihara, R; Maeda, C; Hayakawa, K (2014). "The relationship between twin language, twins' close ties, and social competence". Twin Research and Human Genetics. 17 (1): 27–37. doi:10.1017/thg.2013.83. PMID 24330841. S2CID 31514697.
  2. Plomin, R; Pederson, N.L.; McClearn, G.E.; Nesselroade, J.R.; Bergeman, C.S. (1988). "EAS temperaments during the last half of the life span: Twins reared apart and twins reared together". Psychology and Aging. 3 (1): 43–50. doi:10.1037/0882-7974.3.1.43. PMID 3268242.
  3. Butterfield, Janelle (2013-12-28). "She's my sister from another mister! | Janelle Butterfield". the Guardian. Retrieved 2018-10-29.