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

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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 Without knowing what had become of his parents, Anand then travelled with his cousin’s family to a refugee camp nearby, then on to India by train. Billy Perrigo, Time, "How a Refugee Revisited His Birth Village During the Pandemic – After 73 Years Away," 24 Dec. 2020 He was named to the All-Pac-12 first team Tuesday along with his cousin, Talanoa Hufanga. oregonlive, "Final edition: How former Oregon high school players are faring in Division 1 college football," 23 Dec. 2020 Derek Forlini, who inherited the business from his father and now runs it with a cousin, used to relish chatting up customers in the dining room. Paul Wiseman And Alexandra Olson,, "From restaurants to retail, travel to telecommuting, COVID-19 has transformed the economy. Which changes will stick?," 16 Dec. 2020 The idea was to give her some breathing room and independence and time with her cousin who is also at UC Santa Cruz. Tara Duggan,, "The silver lining of having a kid stay home for college during the pandemic," 12 Dec. 2020 So the teenager goes on a road trip with her cousin Skylar (Talia Ryder), and Hittman documents every irritating procedural detail of the trip along with quiet yet devastating flashes of love, hurt, and misunderstanding. David Sims, The Atlantic, "The 10 Best Films of 2020," 10 Dec. 2020 A few days after Trawick was killed, NYPD detectives met with his cousin and aunt, who both lived in New York. Eric Umansky, ProPublica, "It Wasn’t the First Time the NYPD Killed Someone in Crisis. For Kawaski Trawick, It Only Took 112 Seconds.," 4 Dec. 2020 Baum, along with his cousin, Buzz Baum, a cell biologist at University College London, has proposed a different hypothesis: that the nucleus is actually a remnant of the ancestral archaeon’s outer membrane. Quanta Magazine, "Did Viruses Create the Nucleus? The Answer May Be Near.," 25 Nov. 2020 Robbie Tolan, also an alumnus, was in his parents' driveway with his cousin in 2008 when police officers apprehended him, claiming that the young men were suspected of having stolen a vehicle. Vandana Ravikumar, Dallas News, "Prairie View A&M’s new center for race and justice aims to empower and prepare students to make a difference," 13 Nov. 2020

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

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for cousin

Last Updated

15 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Cousin.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for cousin


How to pronounce Cousin (audio)

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

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Comments on cousin

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