cous·​in | \ ˈkə-zən How to pronounce cousin (audio) \

Definition of cousin

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : a child of one's uncle or aunt
b : a relative descended from one's grandparent or more remote ancestor by two or more steps and in a different line
c : kinsman, relative a distant cousin
2 : one associated with or related to another : counterpart Rural children deserve as good an education as their city cousins get.— Benjamin Fine
3 used as a title by a sovereign in addressing a nobleman
4 : a member of a group regarded as ethnically or culturally related our English cousins


biographical name
Cou·​sin | \ kü-ˈzaⁿ How to pronounce Cousin (audio) \

Definition of Cousin (Entry 2 of 2)

Victor 1792–1867 French philosopher

Other Words from cousin


cousinhood \ ˈkə-​zən-​ˌhu̇d How to pronounce Cousin (audio) \ noun
cousinly adjective
cousinship \ ˈkə-​zən-​ˌship How to pronounce Cousin (audio) \ noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for cousin

Synonyms: Noun

Antonyms: Noun

  • nonrelative
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Examples of cousin in a Sentence

Noun Everyone came to the wedding, including a distant cousin no one had heard from in years. The cricket is a cousin of the grasshopper. hurricanes and their cousins, typhoons
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun That's when a 16-year-old male, identified as the cousin of the 6-year-old, jumped in to help, according to CBS Denver. Caitlin O'kane, CBS News, 11 Jan. 2022 That’s the cheaper, lower-quality cousin of arabica coffee, which requires a milder climate. Ryan Lenora Brown, The Christian Science Monitor, 4 Jan. 2022 None other than Nicki, whose claim -- based on the assuredly unerring account of a friend of a cousin of a... Scottie Andrew And Leah Asmelash, CNN, 29 Dec. 2021 In yet another development, last week the Russian Ministry of Defence released images of an Orion drone, a close cousin of the Inokhodets-RU, taking down another drone with an air-to-air missile. David Hambling, Forbes, 23 Dec. 2021 Over the nearly three-century existence of rakugo, the slapstick cousin of Japanese stage arts like kabuki and noh, most of its performers have been men who portray multiple characters of both genders. New York Times, 19 Dec. 2021 More like a kind of a drunken offbeat cousin of awards like the Oscars and Emmys. Bill Goodykoontz, The Arizona Republic, 13 Dec. 2021 Troy Kinslow, a cousin of Lewis who grew up with her in the nearby town of Port Costa, said her slaying haunted him for years. NBC News, 10 Dec. 2021 Andrew Jeffs, a marine science professor at the University of Auckland says that the pyrosome and the salp, a cousin of the pyrosome, are both important to tropical waters as a food source. Joshua Hawkins, BGR, 28 Nov. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'cousin.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of cousin


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for cousin


Middle English cosin, from Anglo-French cusin, cosin, from Latin consobrinus, from com- + sobrinus second cousin, from soror sister — more at sister

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Time Traveler for cousin

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The first known use of cousin was in the 14th century

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Last Updated

15 Jan 2022

Cite this Entry

“Cousin.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Jan. 2022.

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More Definitions for cousin



English Language Learners Definition of cousin

: a child of your uncle or aunt
: a person who is related to you but not in a close or direct way
: a person who is from another country but whose culture is similar to your own


cous·​in | \ ˈkə-zən How to pronounce cousin (audio) \

Kids Definition of cousin

: a child of a person's uncle or aunt

More from Merriam-Webster on cousin

Nglish: Translation of cousin for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of cousin for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about cousin


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