[ kuhz-uhn ]
See synonyms for cousin on
  1. Also called first cousin, full cousin . the son or daughter of an uncle or aunt.: See also second cousin, removed (def. 2).

  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.

  1. a kinsman or kinswoman; relative.

  2. a person or thing related to another by similar natures, languages, geographical proximity, etc.: Our Canadian cousins are a friendly people.

  3. Slang. a gullible, innocent person who is easily duped or taken advantage of.

  4. a term of address used by a sovereign in speaking, writing, or referring to another sovereign or a high-ranking noble.

Origin of cousin

1250–1300; Middle English cosin<Anglo-French co(u)sin,Old French cosin<Latin consōbrīnus cousin (properly, son of one's mother's sister), equivalent to con-con- + sōbrīnus second cousin (presumably originally “pertaining to the sister”) <*swesrīnos, equivalent to *swesr-, gradational variant of *swesōr (>sororsister) + *-īnos-ine1; for -sr->-br-cf. December

Other words from cousin

  • cous·in·age, cous·in·hood, cous·in·ship, noun

Other definitions for Cousin (2 of 2)

[ koo-zan ]

  1. Vic·tor [veek-tawr], /vikˈtɔr/, 1792–1867, French philosopher and educational reformer: founder of the method of eclecticism in French philosophy. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use cousin in a sentence

  • For this reason the story of Yung Pak's youthful days may be the more interesting to his Western cousins.

    Our Little Korean Cousin | H. Lee M. Pike
  • Suffice it to say, a mutual passion was conceived between the two cousins, and my father persuaded her to elope with him.

  • Strange to say, though by force of circumstances thrown into an eternal tête-à-tête, the cousins never quarrelled.

  • The old man wound up by declaring his intense desire to see both the cousins and his "dear grandchild" as soon as possible.

  • Oh yes, the first cousins of the chickens who lived in the yard of the three happy children.

    Seven O'Clock Stories | Robert Gordon Anderson

British Dictionary definitions for cousin (1 of 2)


/ (ˈkʌzən) /

  1. Also called: first cousin, cousin-german, full cousin the child of one's aunt or uncle

  2. 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

  1. a member of a group related by race, ancestry, interests, etc: our Australian cousins

  2. a title used by a sovereign when addressing another sovereign or a nobleman

Origin of cousin

C13: from Old French cosin, from Latin consōbrīnus cousin, from sōbrīnus cousin on the mother's side; related to soror sister

Derived forms of cousin

  • cousinhood or cousinship, noun
  • cousinly, adjective, adverb

British Dictionary definitions for Cousin (2 of 2)


/ (French kuzɛ̃) /

  1. Victor (viktɔr). 1792–1867, French philosopher and educational reformer

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 cousin


see country cousin; first cousin; kissing cousins; second cousin.

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