Kin – definition of kin by Family and Kin

Family and Kin

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a.  (used with a pl. verb) One’s relatives or family: visited my aunt and her kin.

b.  A relative or family member: Is she kin of yours?

2.  (used with a pl. verb) Organisms that are genetically related to another or others: cauliflower and its kin.

1.  Related genetically or in the same family.

2.  Related or similar; akin: “If he feels a wisp of longing for her … it is kin to what the serpent must have felt for Eve” (Barbara Klein Moss).



1. a person’s relatives collectively; kindred

2. a class or group with similar characteristics

3.  See next of kin

4.  (postpositive) related by blood

5.  a less common word for akin

[Old English cyn; related to Old Norse kyn family, Old High German kind child, Latin genus kind]



1.  all of a person’s relatives; kindred.

2.  a relative or kinsman.

3.  a group of persons tracing or claiming descent from a common ancestor, or constituting a family, clan, tribe, or race.

4.  someone or something of the same or similar kind.

5.  family relationship or kinship.
6.  of the same family; related; akin.

7.  of the same kind or nature; having affinity.
of kin, related; akin.

[before 900; Middle English; Old English cyn; c. Old Saxon, Old High German kunni, Old Norse kyn, Gothic kuni; akin to Latin genus, Greek génos, Skt jánas. compare gender1]

kin′less, adj.


a diminutive suffix of nouns: catkin.

[Middle English < Middle Dutch, Middle Low German -ken]


The family forms the basic unit of social organization and it is difficult to imagine how human society could function without it. The family has been seen as a universal social institution an inevitable part of human society. According to Burgess and Lock the family is a group of persons united by ties of marriage, blood or adoption constituting a single household interacting with each other in their respective social role of husband and wife, mother and father, brother and sister creating a common culture.G.P Murdock defines the family as a social group characterized by common residence, economic cooperation and reproduction. It includes adults of both sexes at least two of whom maintain a socially approved sexual relationship and one or more children own or adopted of the sexually co-habiting adults.

Nimkoff says that family is a more or less durable association of husband and wife with or without child or of a man or woman alone with children. According to Maclver family is a group defined by sex relationships sufficiently precise and enduring to provide for the procreation and upbringing of children.Kingsley Davis describes family as a group of persons whose relations to one another are based upon consanguinity and who are therefore kin to one another.Malinowski opined that the family is the institution within which the cultural traditions of a society is handed over to a newer generation. This indispensable function could not be filled unless the relations to parents and children were relations reciprocally of authority and respect. According to Talcott Parsons families are factories which produce human personalities.