Definition of kin in US English:



  • 1treated as plural One's family and relations.

    ‘he is expected to make a payment to his wife's kin’
    • ‘At every level of society a person looks to family and kin for both social identity and succor.’
    • ‘That is, men interact with their wives' kin as individuals rather than as representatives of their corporate Houses.’
    • ‘This often makes mutual aid and small business formation a whole family strategy, encompassing extended and mythical kin with geographical or social ties in the sending country.’
    • ‘Family and kin are the primary focus of an individual's loyalties and identity.’
    • ‘Marriage always takes place then (in theory) between people who are already kin but only kin of a specified kind.’
    • ‘Extended family and kin are an important part of the social structure of the republic.’
    • ‘There is kin - immediate and extended family - and close behind that, neighbors, members of my social group, people to whom I can turn in need, people like me.’
    • ‘A powerful deterrent to deviant behavior is that such behavior brings shame to one's family and kin and is considered sinful.’
    • ‘Nuclear families are the main kin group, with relatives involved as kin in the extended family.’
    • ‘A pervasive myth is that the extended family does not exist and that society is composed of nuclear families cut off from extended kin.’
    • ‘Most families are in practice extended, with elderly or other kin in the household and other relatives nearby.’
    • ‘Most households are not nuclear families, but contain other kin as well.’
    • ‘As is the case with many blended or separated families, children don't always understand the relationships between kin.’
    • ‘The family also teaches that kin are the appropriate source of friendly companionship.’
    • ‘Traveling together with family, friends, and extended kin these mobile groups bond and build community life.’
    • ‘From the moment of birth an infant is showered with attention and care by family members and extended kin.’
    • ‘Relatives seek out prospective mates for their kin from desirable families.’
    • ‘All of the mother and fathers' relatives are considered kin.’
    • ‘Neoreligious communities have emerged in which people are guided to the other side to communicate with deceased family members and kin.’
    • ‘In gathering information about who lives in the home and who fulfills family roles, it is important to assess for the involvement of extended family and non-blood kin.’
    relatives, relations, family, family members, kindred, connections, clan, tribe, kith and kin, one's own flesh and blood, nearest and dearest
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Animals or plants that are related to a particular species or kind.
      ‘dolphins, whales, and their kin’
      ‘the Acari include ticks, mites, and their kin’
      • ‘Precisely how fishes and other animals recognize kin is hotly debated in the scientific community.’
      • ‘The preceding plants form a grade between the lineages considered in Lab 9 (conifers, Ginkgo and Cordaites) and the flowering plants and their kin.’
      • ‘Juvenile salmon clearly avoided kin when they shared shelters and preferred to associate with unrelated conspecifics.’
      • ‘Smaller herbivorous dinosaurs, however, may have fed to a greater extent than their larger kin on plants defended by qualitative toxins.’
      • ‘This may allow non-breeding animals to pass along the genes they share with their kin by helping in the rearing of young.’


  • predicative Related.

    ‘he was kin to the brothers’
    See also akin
    • ‘They are kin to dragons from when humans first settled on Pern.’
    • ‘Though he is kin to God in nature, all his character is unlike God.’
    • ‘They would have seen themselves as intellectually kin to men who do not figure in these lists - priests or scholars who had on the face of it no great philosophical interest.’
    related, akin, allied, close, connected with, cognate with
    View synonyms


Old English cynn, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch kunne, from an Indo-European root meaning ‘give birth to’, shared by Greek genos and Latin genus ‘race’.