\ ˈkin How to pronounce kin (audio) \

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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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

Animals use odors to recognize their kin, mark their territories, attract mates, detect predators, and more. Michael Greshko, National Geographic, "T. rex had an amazing sense of smell, gene study suggests," 12 June 2019 Contrary to the conventional wisdom in biology and economics, this generous and civic-minded behavior is widespread and cannot be explained simply by far-sighted self-interest or a desire to help close genealogical kin. Quanta Magazine, "How to Triumph and Cooperate in Game Theory and Evolution," 9 Nov. 2017 In its complaint, the SEC alleges Kik marketed its token, known as kin, as an investment opportunity, emphasizing potential returns to early buyers. Gregory Barber, WIRED, "This Case Could Change How the SEC Regulates Cryptocurrencies," 4 June 2019 The other consideration is the suffering of his immediate kin. Philip Galanes, New York Times, "Must I Visit My Dying and Dangerously Facebook-Active Uncle?," 29 Mar. 2018 Nardine Saad Nardine Saad covers entertainment, celebrities and their kin. Gina Piccalo,, "Actor Tab Hunter dies at 86; '50s heartthrob's career ranged from 'Battle Cry' to 'Polyester'," 9 July 2018 Turkish nationalists consider the Uighurs to be kin. Josh Chin, WSJ, "Turkey Calls on China to End Mass Incarceration of Muslim Uighurs," 10 Feb. 2019 What's notable are the small features meant to make the Blazer feel just a little more clever than its kin. Andrew Moseman, Popular Mechanics, "2019 Chevy Blazer Test Drive: What Happened When GM Tried To Make the Crossover Cool," 4 Feb. 2019 The recent success of shows like Big Little Lies, Dietland–also created by Noxon–and Killing Eve prove how hungry audiences are for complex female characters, even ones as tortured as Camille and her kin. Eliana Dockterman, Time, "It’s Hard to Watch Sharp Objects, and Even Harder to Look Away," 28 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





Statistics for kin

Last Updated

9 Jul 2019

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

somewhat old-fashioned : a person's relatives


\ ˈkin How to pronounce kin (audio) \

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 How to pronounce kinship (audio) \ noun

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More from Merriam-Webster on kin

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with kin

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for kin

Spanish Central: Translation of kin

Nglish: Translation of kin for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of kin for Arabic Speakers

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).


something desired as essential

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