Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary

kith

play
noun \ˈkith\

Definition of kith

  1. :  familiar friends, neighbors, or relatives <kith and kin>



Did You Know?

Kith has had many meanings over the years. In its earliest uses it referred to knowledge of something, but that meaning died out in the 1400s. Another sense, "one's native land," had come and gone by the early 1500s. The sense "friends, fellow countrymen, or neighbors" developed before the 12th century and was sometimes used as a synonym of "kinsfolk." That last sense got "kith" into hot water after people began using the word in the alliterative phrase "kith and kin." Over the years, usage commentators have complained that "kith" means the same thing as "kin," so "kith and kin" is redundant. Clearly, they have overlooked some other historical definitions, but if you want to avoid redundancy charges, be sure to include friends as well as relatives among your "kith and kin."

Origin and Etymology of kith

Middle English, from Old English cȳthth; akin to cūth known — more at uncouth


First Known Use: before 12th century

Rhymes with kith



KITH Defined for Kids

kith

play
noun \ˈkith\

Definition of kith for Students

  1. :  familiar friends and neighbors or relatives <We invited our kith and kin.>




Learn More about kith


Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up kith? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

mysterious, holy, or spiritual

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

lavender-fields-in-france

Which of these is a synonym of caesura?

interruption megillah torrent rebellion
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ