Try Our Apps


Avoid these words. Seriously.


[kin] /kɪn/
a person's relatives collectively; kinfolk.
family relationship or kinship.
a group of persons descended from a common ancestor or constituting a people, clan, tribe, or family.
a relative or kinsman.
someone or something of the same or similar kind:
philosophy and its kin, theology.
of the same family; related; akin.
of the same kind or nature; having affinity.
of kin, of the same family; related; akin:
Although their surnames are identical they are not of kin.
Origin of kin
before 900; Middle English; Old English cyn; cognate with Old Saxon, Old High German kunni, Old Norse kyn, Gothic kuni; akin to Latin genus, Greek génos, Sanskrit jánas. See gender1.
Related forms
kinless, adjective
Can be confused
ken, kin.
kin, kith.


a diminutive suffix of nouns:
Middle English < Middle Dutch, Middle Low German -ken; cognate with German -chen Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for kin
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • If these guests were kin of his, they were welcome for his sake.

    The Armourer's Prentices Charlotte M. Yonge
  • It may be that, as some small return, my father or his kin may have power to advance your interest.

    The White Company Arthur Conan Doyle
  • Theyclaimed to be kin to us, and they cared nothing for Man even when they smelled him.

    The Trail Book Mary Austin
  • S' fur 's the pitcher goes, it's about as good 's kin be did with paint, I guess.

    Chip, of the Flying U B. M. Bower
  • "Does beat all how she kin do it," thought Wade, listlessly.

    Dust Mr. and Mrs. Haldeman-Julius
British Dictionary definitions for kin


a person's relatives collectively; kindred
a class or group with similar characteristics
(postpositive) related by blood
a less common word for akin
Word Origin
Old English cyn; related to Old Norse kyn family, Old High German kind child, Latin genus kind


small: lambkin
Word Origin
from Middle Dutch, of West Germanic origin; compare German -chen
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for kin

c.1200, from Old English cynn "family; race; kind, sort, rank; nature; gender, sex," from Proto-Germanic *kunjam "family" (cf. Old Frisian kenn, Old Saxon kunni, Old Norse kyn, Old High German chunni "kin, race;" Danish and Swedish kön, Middle Dutch, Dutch kunne "sex, gender;" Gothic kuni "family, race," Old Norse kundr "son," German Kind "child"), from PIE *gen(e)- "to produce" (see genus).


diminutive suffix, first attested late 12c. in proper names adopted from Flanders and Holland, probably from Middle Dutch -kin, properly a double-diminutive, from -k + -in. Equivalent to German -chen. Also borrowed in Old French as -quin, where it usually has a bad sense.

This suffix, which is almost barren in French, has been more largely developed in the Picard patois, which uses it for new forms, such as verquin, a shabby little glass (verre); painequin, a bad little loaf (pain); Pierrequin poor little Pierre, &c. ["An Etymological Dictionary of the French Language," transl. G.W. Kitchin, Oxford, 1878]
Used in later Middle English with common nouns. In some words it is directly from Dutch or Flemish.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
Slang definitions & phrases for kin


Related Terms

kissing cousin

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
Cite This Source
Idioms and Phrases with kin


The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Nearby words for kin

Difficulty index for kin

Most English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for kin

Scrabble Words With Friends