\ 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

Noun They are her distant kin. invited all of his kith and kin to his graduation party
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Errant cops' bullets, fists, knives, kicks, squeezing fingers and now knees don't just rob us of our kin in that specific, horrific moment. Donna Britt, Washington Post, "My brother was killed by police. Now I ask, who does George Floyd belong to?," 26 June 2020 Identities of the deceased will be release pending next-of-kin procedures, police wrote. Anchorage Daily News, "2 people killed, including a juvenile, in Seward Highway collision near Portage," 23 June 2020 My daddy had land, my kin people had land, had friends that had land. Creg Stephenson |, al, "‘He’s our Bear Bryant’: Players, coaches, rivals reflect on legacy of Auburn’s Pat Dye," 1 June 2020 The incident is under investigation and the Air Force is not announcing the victims' names until 24 hours after next-of-kin notification, the statement said. Konstantin Toropin, CNN, "Shooting at Grand Forks Air Force Base leaves two dead," 1 June 2020 The bones include evidence that Allosaurus, the most common carnivore at the site by far, was munching on its kin. John Pickrell, National Geographic, "This dinosaur may have been a cannibal, gnarly bite marks reveal," 27 May 2020 Among my kin, the Streaming Wars have been hardest on my brother. Lana Schwartz, The New Yorker, "Dispatches from the Front Lines of the Streaming Wars," 27 May 2020 Officials will likely release that information on Tuesday, once his next-of-kin has been notified, according to the spokesperson. Joelle Goldstein,, "USS Roosevelt Sailor Dies After Contracting Coronavirus amid Controversy Over Ship's Outbreak," 13 Apr. 2020 Make sure your next-of-kin’s name and phone number are on the top. cleveland, "From Wuhan to Cleveland: 10 lessons for dealing with a coronavirus shutdown," 29 Mar. 2020

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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Time Traveler for kin

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for kin

Last Updated

30 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Kin.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for kin


How to pronounce -kin (audio)

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
\ 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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for kin

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with kin

Spanish Central: Translation of kin

Nglish: Translation of kin for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of kin for Arabic Speakers

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