• synonyms


  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.
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  1. of the same family; related; akin.
  2. of the same kind or nature; having affinity.
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  1. of kin, of the same family; related; akin: Although their surnames are identical they are not of kin.
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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
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for kins

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 kins

Historical Examples of kins

  • "I think names ending in 'kins' are very ugly," said Mrs. Lenoir.

    Mrs. Maxon Protests

    Anthony Hope

  • These are but two out of seven kins, in one Australian tribe.

  • The meaning of these two forms would thus seem to be 16 kins.

  • The Kins, however, retained their brightness only a little over a century, having been eclipsed by Jenghiz-Khan in 1234.

    Man, Past and Present

    Agustus Henry Keane

  • Kin′ship, relationship; Kins′man, a man of the same kin or race with another:—fem.

British Dictionary definitions for kins


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

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



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).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with kins


see kith and kin.

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