A sister is a female person who shares a common family background with you. It can also be a woman of the same religion, profession, or ethnicity. The word is usually used in the context of family relationships. However, it can also be used in other contexts.
Sister is a synonym for soror, a Latin term. Both the terms are derived from the Proto-Germanic *swestr-. Old Norse systir is a related word. In addition, it is a synonym for Swedish syster, West Frisian suster, and German Schwester.
A sister is a member of a religious order, such as a nun. She is engaged in various ministries that take the Gospel to others. These include praying, teaching classes, and helping the poor. They live in a monastic setting and often live a life of prayer and devotion. Their lives are guided by evangelical counsels.
A sister is often called a “nun” or a “nunnel”. Nuns are women who have taken the vow of chastity and live a cloistered life. Often, they serve as nurses.
Another definition of sister is a closely related genetic pair. In biology, these are two identical copies of a single chromosome, separated by mitosis. During the cell cycle, the sister chromatids are attached to each other by a centromere and securin molecules. Eventually, they are separated by anaphase, one of the shortest phases of the cell cycle.
Alternatively, a sister can be a member of a group of sisters. Such a group is often known as a sisterhood. Some sisterhoods are informal, such as the “Sister District” in Southern California, and they often operate in an autonomous manner. For example, a fabric manufacturer may partner with a furniture retailer to jointly market upholstered goods. Similarly, a Sister District has worked to build progressive power in state legislatures by supporting almost 100 candidates.
In the past, the word sistren was commonly used to refer to biological sisters in contemporary English. But over time, this word was relegated to the pejorative connotation of an effeminate man. This is due to the fact that the word has been contaminated with the Old Norse systir. Today, sistren is used in both religious and feminist contexts.
Various reality shows have been filmed featuring sister wives. One example is the show original Sister Wives. Another is Seeking Sister Wife.
Other examples of sisterhood are the “Arleigh Burke” class of destroyers. This class has more than 60 ships and continues to grow. Currently, more ships are being built in Maine and Mississippi.
The term blood sister is sometimes used to describe the relationship between a brother and a sister. While both are inspired by the other, the term blood sister is a figurative term. That is, the blood brother is an influencer and inspires the sister. Nevertheless, this is a violation of the law in the US. Polygamy is punishable by a fine.
Although it is a relatively rare borrowing, the word sistor is also found in the Latin soror. Interestingly, it is a rare case of borrowing from the nominative case.