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

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 The man and his cousin then spoke, inside the car, with two acquaintances. cleveland, "Two teens arrested for aggravated robbery in gun theft: Cleveland Heights police blotter," 27 June 2020 His cousin was killed by police in 2003, and his mom said the recent deaths of Ahmaud Arbery and George Floyd sparked her son's activism. CBS News, "Bubba Wallace​'s family relives his cousin's death "every time a black man is killed unnecessarily," his mom says," 23 June 2020 Jennifer Knowlton of Silver Spring, Maryland, overheard her nine-year-old son on a call with his cousin doing nothing but making ridiculous noises. Laura Goertzel, National Geographic, "How to help your kid be the virtual host with the most," 22 June 2020 We are hunkered down in Los Angeles while our cats, Theo and Lew(cifer), are stuck in New York—being well taken care of by my cousin, but still. Roxane Gay, Bon Appétit, "I’ll Never Be Able to Cook the Bad News Away. But I Try Anyway," 22 June 2020 This is also a long-running theme in her work, prompted in part, by the fatal stabbing of her cousin in 1996. Los Angeles Times, "Los Angeles artists probe grief and violence in video art show from Guadalupe Rosales," 19 June 2020 The series, which takes place in… Atlanta, focuses on Earn (Donald Glover) and a cast of characters including his cousin Alfred (Brian Tyree Henry). Radhika Marya, Fortune, "What to watch this Juneteenth on Netflix, Amazon, and more," 19 June 2020 My cousin Peter stood among the congregants at the Park Avenue Synagogue on a Saturday morning in the spring of 2019. Bob Brody, WSJ, "The Joy and Loss of Late Fatherhood," 18 June 2020 First of all, our heroine is Scarlett O’Hara (Vivian Leigh), who starts out the movie in love with her neighbor, only to look on heartbroken as the neighbor marries his own cousin. Drew Magary, The New Republic, "The Gentlemanly Hater’s Guide to Gone With the Wind," 17 June 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

1 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Cousin.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Jul. 2020.

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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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