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kin

[ kin ]
/ kɪn /
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See synonyms for: kin / kiner / kinest on Thesaurus.com

noun (used with a plural verb)
adjective
of the same family; related; akin.
of the same kind or nature; having affinity.
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Idioms about kin

    of kin, of the same family; related; akin: Although their surnames are identical they are not of kin.

Origin of kin

First recorded 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.

OTHER WORDS FROM kin

kinless, adjective

WORDS THAT MAY BE CONFUSED WITH kin

1. ken, kin 2. kin , kith

Other definitions for kin (2 of 2)

-kin

a diminutive suffix of nouns: lambkin.

Origin of -kin

Middle English <Middle Dutch, Middle Low German -ken; cognate with German -chen
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022

WORDS THAT USE -KIN

What does -kin mean?

The suffixkin is used as a diminutive. In other words, it denotes that something is “little,” either literally or figuratively. It is very occasionally used in a variety of informal and everyday terms.

The form –kin comes from Middle English. Similar diminutives in English include en (as in kitten) and y (as in baby). Check out our entries for both suffixes to learn how frequently they appear.

Examples of -kin 

One example of a term that features the suffix -kin as a diminutive is ladykin, a familiar term meaning “a little lady.”

The beginning of the word, lady-, means roughly “woman.” As we have seen, the suffix –kin means “little.” Ladykin literally means “little woman.”

What are some words that use the combining form –kin?

  • babykin
  • boomkin (using the equivalent form of –kin in Dutch)
  • catkin (using the equivalent form of –kin in Dutch)
  • firkin (using the equivalent form of –kin in Middle English)
  • lambkin
  • manikin (using the equivalent form of –kin in Dutch)
  • princekin

What are some other forms that –kin may be commonly confused with?

Not every word that ends with the exact letters –kin, such as otherkin, is necessarily using the combining form –kin to denote “little.” Learn why otherkin means “someone who identifies as a non-human species or mythological entity” at our entry for the word.

Break it down!

Given the meaning of -kin, what does babykin mean?

How to use kin in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for kin (1 of 2)

kin
/ (kɪn) /

noun
a person's relatives collectively; kindred
a class or group with similar characteristics
adjective
(postpositive) related by blood
a less common word for akin

Word Origin for kin

Old English cyn; related to Old Norse kyn family, Old High German kind child, Latin genus kind

British Dictionary definitions for kin (2 of 2)

-kin

suffix forming nouns
smalllambkin

Word Origin for -kin

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

Other Idioms and Phrases with kin

kin

see kith and kin.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.
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