FELLOW, properly and by origin a partner or associate, hence a companion, comrade or mate, as in "fellow-man," "fellow-countryman," etc. The word from the 15th century has also been applied, generally and colloquially, to any male person, often in a contemptuous or pitying sense. The Old English féolage meant a partner in a business, i.e. one who lays (lag) money or property (féoh, fee) together for a common purpose. The word was, therefore, the natural equivalent for socius, a member of the foundation of an incorporated college, as Eton, or a college at a university. In the earlier history of universities both the senior and junior members of a college were known as "scholars," but later, as now, "scholar" was restricted to those members of the foundation still in statu pupillari, and "fellow" to those senior graduate members who have been elected to the foundation by the corporate body, sharing in the government and receiving a fixed emolument out of the revenues of the college. It is in this sense that "fellow" is used at the universities of Oxford and Cambridge and Trinity, Dublin. At these universities the college teaching is performed by those fellows who are also "tutors." At other universities the term is applied to the members of the governing body or to the holders of certain sums of money for a fixed number of years to be devoted to special study or research. By analogy the word is also used of the members of various learned societies and institutions.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)