\ 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

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 The Marion County Coroner’s Office will release the decedent's name once next-of-kin have been notified. Jake Allen, The Indianapolis Star, 22 Apr. 2022 Not far from that site, another set of footprints reveals that Lucy and her kin may have lived alongside another bipedal hominin species, one that moved very differently. Kiona N. Smith, Ars Technica, 6 Dec. 2021 The name of the soldier was being withheld pending next-of-kin notification. CBS News, 11 May 2022 The soldier's name is being withheld pending next-of-kin notification. ABC News, 11 May 2022 No wonder, then, that Taffe was concerned about the Yellowstone Act provoking the Lakota, along with their kin and allies. Megan Kate Nelson, Smithsonian Magazine, 1 Mar. 2022 And their responses have varied, from denying that a war with their Russian kin is even possible, to planning for the worst – like scouting out routes to bomb shelters. Dominique Soguel, The Christian Science Monitor, 31 Jan. 2022 While the prominent Crowninshields didn’t want to be associated with their criminal kin, Stephen White’s interest was in concealing his family fortune’s roots in slavery. Barbara Spindel, WSJ, 8 Dec. 2021 People have thought about natal alienation a lot, which is that enslaved people don’t have any legitimate relationship with their own kin, with their ancestors or their progeny, that’s essentially cut off by enslavement., 10 May 2021 See More

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.

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

Learn More About kin

Time Traveler for kin

Time Traveler

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

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Dictionary Entries Near kin

Kim Young Sam



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Statistics for kin

Last Updated

26 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Kin.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for kin


\ ˈkin How to pronounce kin (audio) \

Kids Definition of kin

1 : a person's relatives
2 : kinsman


noun suffix
\ 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 kin (audio) \ noun

More from Merriam-Webster on kin

Nglish: Translation of kin for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of kin for Arabic Speakers


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