Entry printed from Oxford English Dictionary Online

Copyright Oxford University Press 2007

kin, n.1

SECOND EDITION 1989  

(k{shti}n Forms: 1 cyn(n, cinn, 1-6 kyn(n; 2-3 cun, 3-4 kun; 2 cen-, 2-4 ken(ne; 4-6 kynne, Sc. kine, kyne, 5-7 kinne, 3- kin[Com. Teut.: OE. cyn(n, neuter, = OFris. kin, ken, kon, OS. kunni (MDu. kunne, konne, Du. kunne), OHG. chunni (MHG. knne, kunne), ON. kyn (Da., Sw. kn), Goth. kuni:{em}OTeut. *kunjom, from the weak grade of the ablaut-series kin-, kan-, kun- = Aryan gen-, gon-, gn-, ‘to produce, engender, beget’, whence also Gr. {gamma}{geacu}{nu}{omicron}{fsigma}, {gamma}{goacu}{nu}{omicron}{fsigma}, {gamma}{giacu}{gamma}{nu}{omicron}{mu}{alpha}{iota}, L. genus, gign{ebreve}re, etc. Cf. KEN v.2
  In the Teutonic word, as in Latin genus and Greek {gamma}{geacu}{nu}{omicron}{fsigma}, three main senses appear, (1) race or stock, (2) class or kind, (3) gender or sex; the last, found in OE. and early ME., but not later, is the only sense in mod.Du., Da., and Sw.

    I. Family, race, blood-relations.

    1. a. A group of persons descended from a common ancestor, and so connected by blood-relationship; a family, stock, clan; {dag}in OE. also, people, nation, tribe (freq. with defining genitive, as Israela, Caldea cyn); = KIND n. 11, KINDRED 2. Now rare.

c825 Vesp. Psalter lxxvii[i]. 8 Ne sien swe swe fedras heara, cyn {edh}uerh and bitur. c897 K. LFRED Gregory's Past. xiv. 84 {asg}e sint acoren kynn Gode. a1000 Cdmon's Exod. 265 (Gr.) Mid yrm{edh}um Israhela cyn. c1000 O.E. Chron. (Laud MS.) an. 449 Of Iotum comon Cantwara..& {th}t cyn on West Sexum {th}e man nu {asg}it ht Iutna cynn. a1175 Cott. Hom. 227 {Th}a wes hwe{edh}ere an me{ygh}ie cynn [LFRIC I. 24 m{asg}{edh}] {th}e nefer ne abeah to nane deofel {ygh}yld..and {th}es cenne [LFRIC m{asg}{edh}e] god slde and {ygh}esette ae. 1297 R. GLOUC. (Rolls) 9137 So {th}at of {th}ulke kunne {th}er nas {th}o no fere. c1369 CHAUCER Dethe Blaunche 438 By tho figuris mowe al ken..rekene and novmbre. 1604 ROWLANDS Looke to it 11 You that deny the stocke from whence you came, Thrusting your selfe into some Gentle kin. 1879 HEARN Aryan Househ. xii. 280 By the natural expansion of the Household kins are formed; and these kins in turn form within themselves smaller bodies of nearer kinsmen, intermediate..between the Household and the entire kin.

    {dag}b. The family or descendants of a specified ancestor; offspring, progeny, posterity; = KIND n. 11b, KINDRED 2b. Obs.

c950 Lindisf. Gosp. Matt. iii. 7 Cynn tterna [L. progenies viperarum]. 971 Blickl. Hom. 23 Hie wron of Dauides cynnes strynde. c1000 LFRIC Hom. II. 190 {Edh}in cynn [L. semen tuum] sceal l{edh}eodi{asg} wunian on o{edh}rum earde. c1200 ORMIN 9837 We sinndenn Abrahamess kinn & Abrahamess chilldre. c1320 Cast. Love 179 Alle the kynne that of hym come Shulde have the same dome. 1567 Gude & Godlie B. (S.T.S.) 8 Than pray..That {ygh}e may be of Isackis kin.

    {dag}c. The group of persons formed by each stage of descent in a family or clan; a generation; = KIND n. 11c, KINDRED 2c. Obs.

c825 Vesp. Psalter lxxxiv. 6 Ne a{edh}ene {edh}u eorre {edh}in from cynne in cynn. c1000 Ags. Ps. (Th.) lxxvii. 7 {Th}t hi heora bearnum budun..and cinn o{edh}rum cy{edh}den. a1300 Cursor M. 11401 (Cott.) {Th}is writte was gett fra kin to kin. Ibid. 1464 (Gtt.), Iaraeth {Th}at was {th}e fift kin fra seth.

    {dag}d. Genealogy, descent; = KIND n. 11d, KINDRED 2d. Obs.

c892 O.E. Chron. (Parker MS.) an. 716 Eawa [ws] Pybing, {th}s cyn is beforan awriten. c1200 ORMIN 2059 Ne talde {th}e{ygh}{ygh} nohht te{ygh}{ygh}re kinn..Bi wimmenn,..& all forr{th}i wass Cristess kinn..Bi Josp reccnedd. a1225 Leg. Kath. 464 {Ygh}ef {th}u wult cnawen my cun, ich am kinges dohter. c1330 R. BRUNNE Chron. Wace (Rolls) 14975 Of Ethelbright haue I told {th}e kyn.

    2. a. Ancestral stock or race; family. Usually without article and with descriptive adj. or n., esp. in phr. (come) of good (noble, etc.) kin; = KIND n. 12, KINDRED 3. Obs. exc. dial.

c1100 O.E. Chron. (MS. D) an. 1067 Of {asg}eleaffullan & {edh}elan cynne heo ws asprungon. c1200 Vices & Virtues 7 {Ygh}if hie bie{edh} of hei{ygh}e kenne. c1320 Sir Tristr. 1233 {Th}e leuedi of hei{ygh}e kenne. c1380 Sir Ferumb. 442 What ys {th}y ri{ygh}te name; & of wat kyn {th}ou ert y come; tel me al {th}at so{th}e. c1440 Gesta Rom. II. xci. 416 (Add. MS.) Some are prowde, that they come of noble kynne, and sayne they are Gentil~men. 1591 SPENSER Teares Muses 345 Some one perhaps of gentle kin. 1856 BALLANTINE Poems 206 (E.D.D.) He comes o' gude kin.

    b. by or of kin, by birth or descent. rare.

c1400 Chaucer's Melib. {page}601 (Harl.) A free man by kyn [6 texts kynde] or burthe. c1450 Bk. Curtasye 13 in Babees Bk. 299 Yf he be gentylmon of kyn, The porter wille lede the to hym. c1470 Golagros & Gaw. 191, I am your cousing of kyn. 1898 CROCKETT Standard Bearer 76 (E.D.D.) She was gentle of kin and breeding.

    3. The group of persons who are related to one; one's kindred, kinsfolk, or relatives, collectively. (Now the chief sense.)    a. with possess. pron. (rarely the).

c875 Sax. Gen. in O.E. Texts 179 {Edh}a ws agan..ccc ond xcvi wintra {edh}s {edh}e his cynn rest westseaxna lond on walum {asg}eeodon. 971 Blickl. Hom. 175 For hwon wron {asg}yt swa treowlease, o{th}{th}e incer cynn. c1175 Lamb. Hom. 35 Ga to {th}ine feder burinesse o{edh}er {th}er eni of {th}ine cunne li{edh} in. 1297 R. GLOUC. (Rolls) 253 Al {th}e kun {th}at him isei{ygh} adde of him ioye. 1362 LANGL. P. Pl. A. I. 166 Vn-kuynde to heare kun and to alle cristene. 1413 Pilgr. Sowle (Caxton 1483) IV. xxiii. 69, I mett in the weye moche dyuerse peple..my frendes and my kyn and also many other. 1550 CROWLEY Last Trump 296 Thy chyld, nor any other of thy kynne. 1601 SHAKES. Twel. N. I. v. 123 One of thy kin has a most weake Pia-mater. a1700 DRYDEN (J.), The father, mother, and the kin beside, Were overborn by fury of the tide. 1742 YOUNG Nt. Th. IV. 543 Nor are our brothers thoughtless of their kin, Yet absent. 1807 CRABBE Par. Reg. III. 737 His kin supposed him dead. 1891 BLAKISTON in Colleges Oxford (1891) 329 Sir Thomas Pope..did not saddle [Trinity College] with any of the preferences for founder's-kin which proved fertile in litigation elsewhere.

    b. Without article or pronoun. Now rare, exc. in kith and (or) kin: see KITH.

c1250 Hymn to God 30 in Trin. Coll. Hom. App. 259 Fader for{ygh}if vs..Al swo we do{edh}..to fremede & kunne. c1325 Chron. Eng. 92 (Ritson) Bruyt hade muche folk with him, Bothe fremede and eke kun. c1450 St. Cuthbert (Surtees) 4326 {Th}ai spared nouthir kynn na kyth. a1592 GREENE Jas. IV, V. ii, What was I born to be the scorn of kin? 1607 SHAKES. Timon I. i. 121 One onely Daughter haue I, no Kin else. 1836 W. IRVING Astoria II. 63 One of those anomalous beings..who seem to have neither kin nor country.

    c. Used of a single person: Kinsman, relative; = KINDRED 4b. arch.

c1200 MS. Digby 59 in Opera Symeon Dunelm. (Surtees) I. 190 Sic dicimus vulgariter Nother kyn nor wyn, id est neque cognatum neque amicum. c1205 LAY. 13730 He wes heore cun & heore freond. Ibid. 21462 Hercne me Cador; {Th}u rt min a{ygh}e cun. 1382 WYCLIF Ruth ii. 20 And eft she seith, Oure ny{ygh} kyn is the man. c1475 Partenay 6278 Ny kyn he is to king off norway, For of Melusine discended all thay. 1601 SHAKES. Twel. N. V. i. 237 Of charity, what kinne are you to me? 1790 SHIRREFS Poems 78 (E.D.D.) Were he a Laird, he'd be nae kin to me. 1864 SWINBURNE Atalanta 398 O sweetest kin to me in all the world.

    d. In predicative use passing into adj. = Related, AKIN (to). Also fig.

1597 SHAKES. 2 Hen. IV, II. ii. 120 Like those that are kinne to the King. 1601 {emem} All's Well II. i. 41 My sword and yours are kinne. 1606 {emem} Tr. & Cr. III. iii. 175 One touch of nature makes the whole world kin: That all with one consent praise new borne gaudes. 1695 tr. Colbatch's New Light Chirurg. Put out 37, I do not find it any the least Kin to a Miracle. 1726 G. ROBERTS 4 Years Voy. 9 It is next kin to an Impossibility..to have their Water brought out of the Country. 1788 REID Aristotle's Log. ii. 2. 26 They are indeed Kin to each other. 1870 DISRAELI Lothair I. ix. 59 But we are kin; we have the same blood in our veins.

    4. The quality, condition, or fact of being related by birth or descent; kinship, relationship, consanguinity. Now rare.

a1548 HALL Chron., Edw. IV 190 He..rode in poste to his kynsman,..verefiyng the old proverbe: kynne will crepe, where it maie not go. 1628 WITHER Brit. Rememb. I. 1161 The brother to the brother growes a stranger. There is no kin, but Cousnage. 1678 BUTLER Hud. III. i. 1294 'Cause Grace and Virtue are within Prohibited Degrees of Kin. 1700 DRYDEN Pal. & Arc. II. 108 Palamon, Whom Theseus holds in bonds..Without a crime, except his kin to me. 1858 MRS. OLIPHANT Laird Norlaw III. 156 The Mistress herself, after that first strange impulse of kin and kindness..relapsed into her usual ways.

    II. Class, group, division.

    {dag}5. A large natural group or division of animals or plants, having presumably a common ancestry; the race (of men, fishes, etc.); a race (of plants); = KIND n. 10. Obs.
  In OE. freq. as the second element in compounds, as dorcynn, fisccynn, fu{asg}olcynn, manncynn, wfcynn, etc.

971 Blickl. Hom. 5 Seo reste modor {th}yses menniscan cynnes. Ibid. 83 Him bi{th} beforan andweard eal engla cynn & manna cynn. a1000 Boeth. Metr. xi. 67 Merestream ne dear ofer eor{edh}an sceat eard {asg}ebrdan fisca cynne. c1175 Lamb. Hom. 97 He walde monna cun on {th}isse deie isundian. c1340 Cursor M. 22084 (Fairf.) Alle mannis kin he [antechrist] salle for-do.

    {dag}6.    a. A class (of persons, animals, or things) having common attributes; a species, sort, kind; = KIND n. 13. Obs.

c950 Lindisf. Gosp. Matt. xvii. 21 {Edh}is so{edh}lice cynn ne bi{edh} fordrifen buta {edh}erh {asg}ebedd and fstern. c960 Rule St. Benet (Schrer) i. 9 Feower synt muneca cyn. {Edh}t forme is mynstermonna..O{th}er cyn is ancrena. c1175 Lamb. Hom. 135 Feole cunne beo{edh} of weldede. a1250 Owl & Night. 1396 Hi beo{th} tweire cunne. c1450 St. Cuthbert (Surtees) 488 Many Fysches of kynes sere. 1500 Nottingham Rec. III. 450 Any kinnes of corne bought for merchandise.

    {dag}b. In this sense, chiefly in a genitive phrase, dependent upon following n. Cf. KIND n. 14.
  In OE. the genitive might be either sing. or pl., according to sense; e.g. lces or {asg}ehwylces cynnes dor, animals of each or every kind, moni{asg}ra cynna scipu, ships of many kinds, {th}reora cynna treowu, trees of three kinds. In ME., cynnes became kunnes, kynnes, kyns, kins; cynna became kunne, kynne, kyn, kin. For the latter the genitive sing. was often substituted; and conversely, kynne, kin, appeared in the sing., esp. in the north, where it was prob. viewed as an uninflected genitive, as in man son, fader broder, etc. The preceding adjectival word agreeing with kynnes, kins, dropped its gentival s somewhat early; sometimes it was transferred to kinnes, thus alle skynnes (= alles kynnes, alle kynnes), no skynnes, etc. Usually however the two words were at length combined, as in the later forms alkin(s, anykin(s, fele-kin(s, manykin(s, nokin(s or nakin(s, otherkin(s, sere-kin(s, swilkin(s, same-kin(s, thiskin(s, whilk-kin (hwil-kyn), whatkin(s. Few of these came down to 1500, though in the north whatkin is found in the 16th c., and survives in Sc. and north Eng. as what'n, beside siccan from swilk kin.
  The reduction of kin to its simple uninflected form may have been assisted by the equivalent use of manere (MANNER) from OFr., which is thus found, as threo maner men = men of three kinds or sorts. In this, at an early period, we find of inserted: an manere of fisce, al maner o suet spices, the syntactical relation between the words being thus reversed, and although this appears to have rarely extended to kin itself, it affected its later representative kind, also sort, species, etc., so that we now say ‘all kinds of things’ = things of all kinds. This may have been facilitated by the fact that in the order of the words (as distinct from their syntactical relation) ‘al kins thinges’ is more closely represented by ‘all kinds of things’ than by ‘things of all kind’. See KIND, MANNER, SORT, etc., and, for the special combinations of kin with preceding adj., ALKIN, ANY-KYN, etc.

a900 O.E. Martyrol. 18 Apr. 58 Moni{asg}ra cyna wil deor. 971 Blickl. Hom. 63 {Th}reora cynna syndon mor{th}ras. c1175 Lamb. Hom. 51 {Th}er wunie{edh} fower cunnes wurmes inne. Ibid. 79 Alles cunnes wilde deor. c1200 ORMIN 2260 On alle kinne wise. Ibid. 9759 An kinness neddre..Iss Vipera {ygh}ehatenn. a1250 Owl and Night. 886 Mi muth haveth tweire kunne salve. a1300 Cursor M. 27901 (Cott.) It es funden bodili foure kin maner [v.r. fowrkins maners] of glotony. c1340 Ibid. 12346 (Fairf.) Alle {th}ai..honoured him on {th}aire kin wise. 1362 LANGL. P. Pl. A. x. 2 A Castel..I-mad of foure kunne [v.rr. foure skenis, skynnes, kynnes] {th}inges. c1384 CHAUCER H. Fame III. 440 Alle skynnes condiciouns. c1440 Gesta Rom. lxi. 254 (Harl.) He shall telle yow what kynne tidynges that he hathe browte. Ibid. lxix. 316 (Harl.) What kynnys treson is {th}is? 15.. SIR A. BARTON in Surtees Misc. (1888) 68 Ye wott not what kine a man he is. 1572 Lament. Lady Sc. 325 in Satir. Poems Reform. xxxiii, Counterfuting hir in all kin things.

    III.    {dag}7. Gender; sex; = KIND n. 7. Obs.

c1000 LFRIC Gram. vi. (Z.) 18 fter {asg}ecynde syndon twa cyn on namum..werlic and wiflic. c1000 Sax. Leechd. III. 144 {Th}t {th}u meht witan on bearn-eacenum wife hw{th}eres cynnes bearn heo cennan sceal. c1200 ORMIN 3056 Till e{ygh}{ygh}{th}err kinn onn eor{th}e, Till weppmann & till wifmannkinn.

    IV. Phrases. (from 3, 4.)

    8. a. of kin = AKIN: Related by blood-ties. Also, Related in character or qualities.

1486 Surtees Misc. (1888) 47 For my sake and othre unto whome he is of kin. 1607-12 BACON Ess., Atheisme (Arb.) 338 Man is of Kin to the beastes by his body, and if he be not of kin to God by his spiritt, he is a base and ignoble Creature. 1642 FULLER Holy & Prof. St. IV. xix. 339 Kings, how nearly soever allied, are most of Kinne to their own interest. 1741 MONRO Anat. Bones (ed. 3) 306 The Bones of the toes are much of kin [ed. 1782 a-kin] to those of the Thumb and Fingers. 1877 C. GEIKIE Christ lvi. (1879) 685 You are of kin in heart to the prophet-murderers!

    b. near of kin, closely related. ? Obs.

1491 Act 7 Hen. VII, c. 22 Preamble, They be ner of kyn. 1611 BIBLE Ruth ii. 20 The man is neere of kin vnto vs. 1651 HOBBES Leviath. II. xix. 101 The neerer of kin, is the neerer in affection. 1767 BLACKSTONE Comm. II. xiv. 219 The uncle is certainly nearer of kin to the common stock, by one degree, than the nephew. 1768 TUCKER Lt. Nat. (1834) I. II. xxvi. 564 This probability, being so near of kin to certainty.

    c. next ({dag}nearest) of kin, most closely related; chiefly absol. the person (or persons) standing in the nearest degree of blood-relationship to another, and entitled to share in his personal estate in case of intestacy.

[1426 E.E. Wills (E.E.T.S.) 76 My brethren and my sustren and next of my kyn. 1540 Sc. Acts Jas. V, c. 40 (1814) II. 377/2 {Th}e nearest of {th}e kin to succeid to {th}aim sall haue {th}air gudis.] a1548 HALL Chron., Hen. VI 104b, The next of kynne to the lord Cawny chalenged the enheritaunce. c1600 K. Leir in Percy's Reliques, Being dead, their crowns they left Unto the next of kin. 1695 Sc. Acts Will. III, c. 72 In the Case of a moveable Estate left by a defunct, and falling to his nearest of kin. 1827 JARMAN J. Powell's Devises II. 65 For the next of kin it was argued, that the estate was to be sold out and out. 1881 Encycl. Brit. XIII. 198/1 The next of kin must be ascertained according to the rules of consanguinity.
fig. a1770 JORTIN Serm. (1771) IV. ii. 13 As for lying which is next of kin to perjury.

    V. 9. attrib. and Comb., as kin-bond, -marriage; -sphere; kinfolk chiefly U.S., = KINSFOLK, -FOLKS; kin group, a group of people related by blood or marriage. {dag}kin-rest, a general cessation from labour (with reference to the Jewish sabbatical year).

1890 GROSS Gild Merch. I. 169 When the old *kin-bond (the ‘maegth’) dissolved, various new institutions arose.
1873 ‘MARK TWAIN & WARNER Gilded Age ii. 33 No father, no mother, no *kin folks of no kind. 1947 S. J. PERELMAN Westward Ha! (1949) xii. 153 We managed to unsnarl our respective kinfolk. 1959 Listener 24 Dec. 1128/1 They [sc. the Bwamba] were organized into self-contained patrilineal villages, consisting of a group of male kinfolk with their wives and children. 1964 MRS. L. B. JOHNSON White House Diary 8 Apr. (1970) 103, I had asked Mrs. MacArthur and her son, and the Ambassador and all the kinfolks, to stop by the White House to warm up and have a cup of tea. 1970 Daily Progress (Charlottesville, Virginia) 21 Mar. c2/1 Two willing young women have started ‘The Bride's Workshoppe’ to cope with everything from choosing a gown to picking up kinfolk at the airport. 1973 Publishers Weekly 20 Aug. 75/3 He was always surrounded by affectionate and eccentric kinfolk.
1942 A. R. JOHNSON One & Many in Israelite Conception God 25 The conception of the individual may not be dissociated from that of his kin-group (conceived in ever-widening circles of relationship). 1951 R. FIRTH Elem. Social Organiz. ii. 55 Differential family growth..affects the control of wealth by kin groups. 1957 E. BOTT Family & Social Network V. 117 Bilateral descent cannot give rise to enduring corporate kin groups. 1970 G. A. & A. G. THEODORSON Mod. Dict. Sociol. 220 Kin group, a group united by ties of blood or marriage.
1881 E. B. TYLOR in Academy 9 Apr. 265 Exogamy is connected both with wife-capture and with barring *kin-marriage.
1387-8 T. USK Test. Love I. v. (Skeat) l. 103, I pray that..this eighteth [yere] mowe to me bothe be *kinrest and masse~day after the seven werkedays of travayle.
1839 BAILEY Festus xxii. (1852) 394 Fear The fate of your *kin-sphere.