- Also called first cousin, full cousin. the son or daughter of an uncle or aunt.See also second cousin, removed(def 2).
- one related by descent in a diverging line from a known common ancestor, as from one's grandparent or from one's father's or mother's sister or brother.
- a kinsman or kinswoman; relative.
- a person or thing related to another by similar natures, languages, geographical proximity, etc.: Our Canadian cousins are a friendly people.
- Slang. a gullible, innocent person who is easily duped or taken advantage of.
- a term of address used by a sovereign in speaking, writing, or referring to another sovereign or a high-ranking noble.
Origin of cousin
- Vic·tor [veek-tawr] /vikˈtɔr/, 1792–1867, French philosopher and educational reformer: founder of the method of eclecticism in French philosophy.
Examples from the Web for cousin
Mating with a cousin or brother is safer than risking life and limb to mate with an outsider.Mongooses, Meerkats, and Ants, Oh My! Why Some Animals Keep Mating All in the Family
December 29, 2014
A few worries, to be sure, but not that cousin of depression and anxiety, dread.Awaiting the Grand Jury, Dread in Ferguson and America
November 16, 2014
The second-to-last time we met Zalwar Khan, he brought a man he introduced as his cousin.Heart of Darkness: Into Afghanistan’s Taliban Valley
Matt Trevithick, Daniel Seckman
November 15, 2014
His brother and cousin had been killed a week earlier, he told her.Escaping Assad’s Rape Prisons: A Survivor Tells Her Story
October 28, 2014
A cousin took me to the National Frontier Trail Museum, where I jotted down dutiful notes.Those Kansas City Blues: A Family History
October 24, 2014
This post was filled in Oldport, in those days, by my cousin Kate.Malbone
Thomas Wentworth Higginson
"A cousin from Australia," she concluded: they had cousins there.
He wrote to his cousin Helen asking if he might bring a friend with him.
The second point in this category is own cousin to the above.The Dramatic Values in Plautus
Wilton Wallace Blancke
Is there anything you want me to do in this sad affair, cousin Hester?
- Also called: first cousin, cousin-german, full cousin the child of one's aunt or uncle
- a relative who has descended from one of one's common ancestors. A person's second cousin is the child of one of his parents' first cousins. A person's third cousin is the child of one of his parents' second cousins. A first cousin once removed (or loosely second cousin) is the child of one's first cousin
- a member of a group related by race, ancestry, interests, etcour Australian cousins
- a title used by a sovereign when addressing another sovereign or a nobleman
- Victor (viktɔr). 1792–1867, French philosopher and educational reformer
Word Origin and History for cousin
mid-12c., from Old French cosin (12c., Modern French cousin) "nephew, kinsman, cousin," from Latin consobrinus "cousin," originally "mother's sister's son," from com- "together" (see com-) + sobrinus (earlier *sosrinos) "cousin on mother's side," from soror (genitive sororis) "sister."
Italian cugino, Danish kusine, Polish kuzyn also are from French. German vetter is from Old High German fetiro "uncle," perhaps on the notion of "child of uncle." Words for cousin tend to drift to "nephew" on the notion of "father's nephew."
Many IE languages (including Irish, Sanskrit, Slavic, and some of the Germanic tongues) have or had separate words for some or all of the eight possible "cousin" relationships, e.g. Latin, which along with consobrinus had consobrina "mother's sister's daughter," patruelis "father's brother's son," atruelis "mother's brother's son," amitinus "father's sister's son," etc. Old English distinguished fæderan sunu "father's brother's son," modrigan sunu "mother's sister's son," etc.
Used familiarly as a term of address since early 15c., especially in Cornwall. Phrase kissing cousin is Southern U.S. expression, 1940s, apparently denoting "those close enough to be kissed in salutation;" Kentish cousin (1796) is an old British term for "distant relative."