\ ˈkin \

Definition of kin 

(Entry 1 of 3)

1 : a group of persons of common ancestry : clan

2a : one's relatives : kindred our neighbors and their kin close kin

b : kinsman he wasn't any kin to you —Jean Stafford

3 archaic : kinship



Definition of kin (Entry 2 of 3)

\ kən \
variants: or less commonly -kins \kənz \

Definition of -kin (Entry 3 of 3)

: little catkin babykins

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Synonyms & Antonyms for kin

Synonyms: Noun

cousin, kinsman, relation, relative

Antonyms: Noun


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Examples of kin in a Sentence


They are her distant kin. invited all of his kith and kin to his graduation party

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

For DeKnight, that love extended to black readers who had never seen their families’ recipes in print—as well as black people for whom kin, fictive or otherwise, is not a source of sustenance. Hannah Giorgis, Bon Appetit, "How Freda DeKnight’s Cookbook, ‘A Date with a Dish’ Inspired Generations of Black Cooks," 19 June 2018 Its more famous kin, the Coalsack Nebula, lies near the Southern Cross. Mika Mckinnon, Smithsonian, "Dark Nebula Hides a Brilliant Streak of Baby Stars," 31 Jan. 2018 Many families resort to horrific measures to care for ailing kin. Charlie Campbell / Kunming, Time, "Finding Love in the Kingdom of the Little People," 1 June 2018 Across southeastern Wisconsin, families, friends and communities will be participating in special prayer and remembrance celebrations that pay tribute to their deceased kin. Travel Wisconsin, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Learn about Mexican culture with these family-friendly Day of the Dead celebrations," 10 Oct. 2017 Our goal is to communicate with the person’s next-of-kin as quickly as possible. Christie Thompson, sacbee, "Your loved one dies. The prison leaves a voicemail," 22 June 2018 But the great bicycle trip would come up in conversation whenever talk turned to my father's eccentric Belgian kin. Daniel De Vise, Chicago Reader, "How two Belgian boys became the youngest kids to bike across the U.S.—in 1935," 21 June 2018 In a statement obtained by Fox News, the Broward Sheriff's Office says that investigators will notify the next-of-kin before releasing the name of the victim. Mariah Haas, Fox News, "Rapper XXXTentacion dead at 20 after shooting: report," 18 June 2018 His next-of-kin has been notified and investigations are ongoing. Jay R. Jordan, Houston Chronicle, "Suicidal man shot by Pearland officers in parking lot dies," 5 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'kin.' 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 kin


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1597, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for kin


Middle English, from Old English cynn; akin to Old High German chunni race, Latin genus birth, race, kind, Greek genos, Latin gignere to beget, Greek gignesthai to be born


attributive use of kin entry 1

Noun suffix

Middle English, from Middle Dutch -kin; akin to Old High German -chīn, diminutive suffix

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Learn More about kin

Dictionary Entries near kin



Kim Young Sam





Phrases Related to kin

kin to

kith and kin

Statistics for kin

Last Updated

20 Aug 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for kin

The first known use of kin was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for kin



English Language Learners Definition of kin

: a person's relatives


\ ˈkin \

Kids Definition of kin

1 : a person's relatives

2 : kinsman

\ kən \
variants: also -kins \kənz \

Kids Definition of -kin

: little lambkin



Legal Definition of kin 

: one's relatives

Other words from kin

kinship \-ˌship \ noun

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Comments on kin

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


to make amends

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