kind

2
[ kahynd ]
/ kaɪnd /

noun

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.
nature or character as determining likeness or difference between things: These differ in degree rather than in kind.
a person or thing as being of a particular character or class: He is a strange kind of hero.
a more or less adequate or inadequate example of something; sort: The vines formed a kind of roof.
Archaic.
  1. the nature, or natural disposition or character.
  2. manner; form.
Obsolete. gender; sex.

Idioms

Origin of kind

2
before 900; Middle English kinde, Old English gecynd nature, race, origin; cognate with Old Norse kyndi, Old High German kikunt, Latin gēns (genitive gentis); see kin

Can be confused

kind sort type (see usage note at the current entry) (see usage note at type)

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.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for of a kind (1 of 2)

kind

1
/ (kaɪnd) /

adjective


Word Origin for kind

Old English gecynde natural, native; see kind ²

British Dictionary definitions for of a kind (2 of 2)

kind

2
/ (kaɪnd) /

noun


Word Origin for kind

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

usage

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
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

Idioms and Phrases with of a kind (1 of 2)

of a kind

1

Of some sort, but not a typical or perfect specimen. For example, They have a backyard of a kind, but it's tiny. This usage was first recorded in 1895. For a synonym, see of sorts.


2

one of a kind. A unique instance, as in There are no others like it; this hybrid daylily is one of a kind, or She's extremely generous, one of a kind. Also see two of a kind.

Idioms and Phrases with of a kind (2 of 2)

kind

In addition to the idiom beginning with kind

  • kind of

also see:

  • all kinds of
  • in kind
  • nothing of the kind
  • of a kind
  • two of a kind

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