• synonyms


See more synonyms for kin on Thesaurus.com
  1. a person's relatives collectively; kinfolk.
  2. family relationship or kinship.
  3. a group of persons descended from a common ancestor or constituting a people, clan, tribe, or family.
  4. a relative or kinsman.
  5. someone or something of the same or similar kind: philosophy and its kin, theology.
Show More
  1. of the same family; related; akin.
  2. of the same kind or nature; having affinity.
Show More
  1. of kin, of the same family; related; akin: Although their surnames are identical they are not of kin.
Show More

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 formskin·less, adjective
Can be confusedken kinkin kith


  1. a diminutive suffix of nouns: lambkin.
Show More

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. 2018

Related Words for kin

tribe, family, people, house, sibling, relation, folk, member, extraction, affinity, stock, lineage, relationship, kindred, blood, cousin, clan, consanguinity, connection, race

Examples from the Web for kin

Contemporary Examples of kin

Historical Examples of kin

  • 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.

  • "Does beat all how she kin do it," thought Wade, listlessly.


    Mr. and Mrs. Haldeman-Julius

British Dictionary definitions for kin


  1. a person's relatives collectively; kindred
  2. a class or group with similar characteristics
  3. See next of kin
Show More
  1. (postpositive) related by blood
  2. a less common word for akin
Show More

Word Origin for kin

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


suffix forming nouns
  1. smalllambkin
Show More

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

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).

Show More


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.

Show More
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with kin


see kith and kin.

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