View synonyms for kind



[ kahynd ]


, kind·er, kind·est.
  1. of a good or benevolent nature or disposition, as a person:

    a kind and loving person.

    Synonyms: compassionate, tender, gentle, benignant, benign, mild

    Antonyms: cruel

  2. having, showing, or proceeding from benevolence:

    kind words.

  3. indulgent, considerate, or helpful; humane (often followed by to ):

    to be kind to animals.

  4. kind weather.

  5. British Dialect. loving; affectionate.



[ kahynd ]


  1. a class or group of individual objects, people, animals, etc., of the same nature or character, or classified together because they have traits in common; category:

    Our dog is the same kind as theirs.

    Synonyms: set, breed, species, genus, order

  2. nature or character as determining likeness or difference between things:

    These differ in degree rather than in kind.

  3. a person or thing as being of a particular character or class:

    He is a strange kind of hero.

  4. a more or less adequate example of something; sort:

    The vines formed a kind of roof.

  5. Archaic.
    1. the nature, or natural disposition or character.
    2. manner; form.
  6. Obsolete. gender; sex.



/ kaɪnd /


  1. a class or group having characteristics in common; sort; type

    two of a kind

    what kind of creature?

  2. an instance or example of a class or group, esp a rudimentary one

    heating of a kind

  3. essential nature or character

    the difference is one of kind rather than degree

  4. archaic.
    gender or sex
  5. archaic.
    nature; the natural order
  6. in kind
    1. (of payment) in goods or produce rather than in money
    2. with something of the same sort

      to return an insult in kind

  7. kind of informal.
    1. adverb somewhat; rather

      kind of tired

    2. sentence substitute used to express reservation or qualified assent

      I figured it out. Kind of



/ kaɪnd /


  1. having a friendly or generous nature or attitude
  2. helpful to others or to another

    a kind deed

  3. considerate or humane
  4. cordial; courteous (esp in the phrase kind regards )
  5. pleasant; agreeable; mild

    a kind climate

  6. informal.
    beneficial or not harmful

    a detergent that is kind to the hands

  7. archaic.

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Usage Note

The phrase these (or those ) kind of, followed by a plural noun ( these kind of flowers; those kind of shoes ) is frequently condemned as ungrammatical because it is said to combine a plural demonstrative ( these; those ) with a singular noun, kind. Historically, kind is an unchanged or unmarked plural noun like deer, folk, sheep, and swine, and the construction these kind of is an old one, occurring in the writings of Shakespeare, Swift, Jane Austen, and, in modern times, Jimmy Carter and Winston Churchill. Kind has also developed the plural kinds, evidently because of the feeling that the old pattern was incorrect. These kind of nevertheless persists in use, especially in less formal speech and writing. In edited, more formal prose, this kind of and these kinds of are more common. Sort of has been influenced by the use of kind as an unchanged plural: these sort of books. This construction too is often considered incorrect and appears mainly in less formal speech and writing. Kind (or sort ) of as an adverbial modifier meaning “somewhat” occurs in informal speech and writing: Sales have been kind (or sort ) of slow these last few weeks.

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The mixture of plural and singular constructions, although often used informally with kind and sort , should be avoided in serious writing: children enjoy those kinds (not those kind ) of stories; these sorts (not these sort ) of distinctions are becoming blurred

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Word History and Origins

Origin of kind1

First recorded before 900; Middle English kind(e) “natural, well-disposed,” Old English gecynde “natural;” genial 1, kind 2

Origin of kind2

First recorded before 900; Middle English kinde, Old English gecynd “nature, race, origin”; cognate with Old Norse kyndi, Old High German kikunt, Latin gēns (genitive gentis ); kin

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Word History and Origins

Origin of kind1

Old English gecynd nature; compare Old English cyn kin , Gothic kuni race, Old High German kikunt, Latin gens

Origin of kind2

Old English gecynde natural, native; see kind ²

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Idioms and Phrases

  1. in kind,
    1. in something of the same kind or in the same way as that received or borne:

      They will be repaid in kind for their rudeness.

    2. in goods, commodities, or services rather than money:

      In colonial times, payment was often made in kind.

  2. kind of, Informal. to some extent; somewhat; rather:

    The room was kind of dark.

  3. of a kind, of the same class, nature, character, etc.:

    They are two of a kind.

More idioms and phrases containing kind

In addition to the idiom beginning with kind , also see all kinds of ; in kind ; nothing of the kind ; of a kind ; two of a kind .

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Synonym Study

Kind, gracious, kindhearted, kindly imply a sympathetic attitude toward others, and a willingness to do good or give pleasure. Kind implies a deep-seated characteristic shown either habitually or on occasion by considerate behavior: a kind father. Gracious often refers to kindness from a superior or older person to a subordinate, an inferior, a child, etc.: a gracious monarch. Kindhearted implies an emotionally sympathetic nature, sometimes easily imposed upon: a kindhearted old woman. Kindly, a mild word, refers usually to general disposition, appearance, manner, etc.: a kindly face.

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Example Sentences

After all, he met his husband of 30 years on a return trip to one of his homeland’s villages, the kind of place he once longed to escape.

From Ozy

Right away we kind of liked to work with each other, and that was always a war.

I’m kind of just like wake up, see what our team services guy … has sent us for that day and then just go for it.

He couldn’t imagine moving in and not having some kind of symbol of their relationship — maybe a ring or something else if she didn’t want to get married.

A woman who hears it thinks of a specific kind of danger, and a man who says it thinks of that danger, too.

Submission is less a novel of ideas than a political book, and of the most subversive kind.

His discourse is now more detailed: submission, which is the meaning of islam in Arabic, gives him a kind of enjoyment.

Patrick Klugman, the deputy mayor of Paris, said: “We are living our kind of 9/11,” he said.

When I was in Holland, this is the kind of thing people feared.

He appeared to understand however belatedly that he was in the presence of another kind of greatness.

Kind of a reception-room in there—guess I know a reception-room from a hole in the wall.

The relation existing between the balmy plant and the commerce of the world is of the strongest kind.

"She used to be so well—so bright," said Angela, who also appeared to have the desire to say something kind and comfortable.

What he has done in any one species or distinct kind of writing would have been sufficient to have acquired him a great name.

I tell you, madam, most distinctly and emphatically, that it is bread pudding and the meanest kind at that.'


Definitions and idiom definitions from Unabridged, based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

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