cous·​in | \ ˈkə-zən How to pronounce cousin (audio) \

Definition of cousin

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : a child of one's uncle or aunt
b : a relative descended from one's grandparent or more remote ancestor by two or more steps and in a different line
c : kinsman, relative a distant cousin
2 : one associated with or related to another : counterpart Rural children deserve as good an education as their city cousins get.— Benjamin Fine
3 used as a title by a sovereign in addressing a nobleman
4 : a member of a group regarded as ethnically or culturally related our English cousins


biographical name
Cou·​sin | \ kü-ˈzaⁿ How to pronounce Cousin (audio) \

Definition of Cousin (Entry 2 of 2)

Victor 1792–1867 French philosopher

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Other Words from cousin


cousinhood \ ˈkə-​zən-​ˌhu̇d How to pronounce Cousin (audio) \ noun
cousinly adjective
cousinship \ ˈkə-​zən-​ˌship How to pronounce Cousin (audio) \ noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for cousin

Synonyms: Noun

Antonyms: Noun

  • nonrelative
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Examples of cousin in a Sentence

Noun Everyone came to the wedding, including a distant cousin no one had heard from in years. The cricket is a cousin of the grasshopper. hurricanes and their cousins, typhoons
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Then, a cousin and two uncles took their own lives. Vincent T. Davis, San Antonio Express-News, 11 Oct. 2021 Angie’s distant cousin and someone Lisa doesn’t care if Angie hangs out with. Olivia Crandall, Vulture, 4 Oct. 2021 According to her cousin and business manager John Dash III, Dash was found dead at her home in Trenton, New Jersey. David Browne, Rolling Stone, 21 Sep. 2021 Ibrahim Chombo is Mwasi's cousin and lives in a clay brick house with dirt floors and no electricity. Scott Mclean, CNN, 15 Sep. 2021 The 80-year-old star is a mother, activist, cousin and friend – with a boisterous Twitter account to boot. David Oliver, USA TODAY, 13 Sep. 2021 Till's cousin and last living eyewitness to his kidnapping, said in a statement to CBS News. Zoe Christen Jones, CBS News, 3 Sep. 2021 The only safe place for the children, aged 3 and 7, was on the shoulders of a cousin and uncle, their tiny fingers gripping their relatives’ heads. Deepa Fernandes, San Francisco Chronicle, 3 Sep. 2021 Damarion Delaney, Zimmerman’s cousin and fellow senior, was on the receiving end of two touchdowns and finished with five receptions for 83 yards. Josh Reed, Anchorage Daily News, 28 Aug. 2021

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


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for cousin


Middle English cosin, from Anglo-French cusin, cosin, from Latin consobrinus, from com- + sobrinus second cousin, from soror sister — more at sister

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Time Traveler for cousin

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The first known use of cousin was in the 14th century

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Last Updated

18 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Cousin.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 Oct. 2021.

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More Definitions for cousin



English Language Learners Definition of cousin

: a child of your uncle or aunt
: a person who is related to you but not in a close or direct way
: a person who is from another country but whose culture is similar to your own


cous·​in | \ ˈkə-zən How to pronounce cousin (audio) \

Kids Definition of cousin

: a child of a person's uncle or aunt

More from Merriam-Webster on cousin

Nglish: Translation of cousin for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of cousin for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about cousin


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