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 person of a race or people 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 cousinhood (audio) \ noun
cousinly adjective
cousinship \ ˈkə-​zən-​ˌship How to pronounce cousinship (audio) \ noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for cousin

Synonyms: Noun

kin, kinsman, relation, relative

Antonyms: Noun


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Examples of cousin in a Sentence


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

Additionally, the Rams are blessed with a quartet of talented individuals as sets of cousins, the Banks (Antwain and Deonta both juniors) and McDowell's (Christian and Naseem both seniors). Randy Mcroberts, The Aegis, "2017 high school football preview," 30 Aug. 2017 Like many cousins, Tyler and Ryan Lilomaiava often clash. Rick Mauch, star-telegram, "Why this football season will be a special reunion for two L.D. Bell cousins," 29 Aug. 2017 Jacob Drake, 21, of North Lewisburg, Ohio, was among the missing, according to a cousin, Brandie Roberts. Eric Schmitt And Richard C. Paddock, New York Times, "Commander of Naval Fleet Relieved of Duty After Collisions," 22 Aug. 2017 Given how closely related Neanderthals are to our own species, the researchers’ ability to identify a single protein sequence specific to our evolutionary cousins is stunning. Gemma Tarlach, Discover Magazine, "Proteomics: Moving Beyond DNA to Study the Past," 15 Aug. 2017

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


13th 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

The first known use of cousin was in the 13th century

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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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More from Merriam-Webster on cousin

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with cousin

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for cousin

Spanish Central: Translation of cousin

Nglish: Translation of cousin for Spanish Speakers

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

Comments on cousin

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


to make or get by devious means

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