\ 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

Keep scrolling for more

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

Portland police reported that the woman, whose name will be released after an autopsy is completed and next-of-kin are notified, was a resident of a four-unit apartment complex in the 3900 block of North Albina Street. oregonlive, "Woman dies after Sunday’s North Portland apartment fire," 5 Sep. 2019 Santa Barbara County officials said Monday the cause of the incident is under investigation and names of the victims are being withheld pending notification of kin. NBC News, "25 confirmed dead after boat catches fire near Santa Cruz Island, AP reports," 3 Sep. 2019 The woman, whose identity has not been released pending notification of kin, was traveling northbound on 30th Avenue. Jessica York, The Mercury News, "80-year-old woman killed in Santa Cruz County multi-car crash," 27 Aug. 2019 But Thurman did find Fierle failed to list the granddaughter, the only beneficiary of the ward’s will, as next-of-kin in her petition for guardianship, which is required. Monivette Cordeiro,, "Investigations of Rebecca Fierle reveal new details of ex-guardian’s use of DNRs, handling of wards’ finances," 17 Aug. 2019 The identity of the deceased male has not been released and is awaiting notification of kin. John Aguilar, The Denver Post, "Man’s body pulled from Blue River in Breckenridge," 22 July 2019 Lucy and her kin left behind bones from nearly every part of their skeleton, and even, in Tanzania, fossilized footprints. Ben Guarino, Anchorage Daily News, "This newfound 3.8-million-year-old skull called ‘iconic’ in human evolution," 29 Aug. 2019 In Seattle, most families knew someone like Riley since many had kin or friends in the service. Erik Lacitis, The Seattle Times, "75 years ago, an anxious Seattle turned to radio, newspapers to learn about the D-Day invasion," 2 June 2019 Renaissance Faire Elves, fairies, orcs, goblins, animal-kin and dwarves populate the Midsummer Fantasy Renaissance Faire, which continues June 30 and July 1 and July 7 and 8 at Warsaw Park, 119 Pulaski Highway, Ansonia. Christopher Arnott,, "Things To Do This Week," 25 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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about kin

Dictionary Entries near kin



Kim Young Sam





Statistics for kin

Last Updated

17 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for kin

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

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).


to spread over or through

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

The Exceptions Quiz III

  • one green toy robot amidst many red toy robots
  • Which of these words does not mean "nonsense"?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!