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 cousin on Wikipedia


From Middle English cosyn, from Old French cosin, from Latin cōnsōbrīnus, from com- + sōbrīnus.



cousin (plural cousins)

  1. The child of a person's uncle or aunt; a first cousin.
    Synonym: first cousin
    I think my cousin is a good man.
  2. (archaic) A kinsman.
  3. Any relation who is not a direct ancestor or descendant but part of one's extended family; one more distantly related than an uncle, aunt, granduncle, grandaunt, nephew, niece, grandnephew, grandniece, etc.
  4. (obsolete) A title formerly given by a king to a nobleman, particularly to those of the council. In English writs, etc., issued by the crown, it signifies any earl.
  5. (figuratively) Something kindred or related to something else.
    • 2003 Nov. 21, Tim Homfray, "What do they mean...," Times Educational Supplement (UK) (retrieved 20 Nov 2012):
      Partnering, along with its less irritating cousin "partnership", crops up all over the place, being equally useful to the lazy jargoneer and the lazy policy-maker. It has been said that there is no noun which cannot be verbed; in the same way, there is now nothing, concrete or abstract, which cannot be partnered.
    • 2015 July 23, Tessa Berenson, “NASA Discovers New Earth-Like Planet”, in Time[1]:
      NASA has discovered an Earth-like planet orbiting around a star, which a NASA researcher called a “bigger, older cousin to Earth.”
  6. (espionage, slang, chiefly in the plural) A member of the British intelligence services (from an American perspective) or of the American intelligence services (from a British perspective).

Usage notes[edit]

  • People who have common grandparents but different parents are first cousins. People who have common great-grandparents but no common grandparents and different parents are second cousins, and so on.
  • In general, one's nth cousin is anyone other than oneself, one's siblings or nearer cousins found by going back n+1 generations and then forward n+1 generations. One of one's first cousin's parents is one's parents' siblings. One of one's second cousin's grandparents is one of one's grandparents' siblings.
  • The child of one's first cousin or the first cousin of one's parent is one's first cousin once removed; the grandchild of one's first cousin or the first cousin of one's grandparent is one's first cousin twice removed, and so on. For example, if Phil and Marie are first cousins, and Marie has a son Andre, then Phil and Andre are first cousins once removed.
  • In the southern US, the relation is considered the number of links between two people of common ancestry to the common aunt or uncle.
  • A patrilineal or paternal cousin is a father's niece or nephew, and a matrilineal or maternal cousin a mother's. Paternal and maternal parallel cousins are father's brother's child and mother's sister's child, respectively; paternal and maternal cross cousins are father's sister's child and mother's brother's child, respectively.


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Derived terms[edit]

terms derived from cousin (noun)


The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.

See also[edit]

Further reading[edit]




Etymology 1[edit]

From Middle French cousin, from Old French cosin, from Latin cōnsōbrīnus.


cousin m (plural cousins, feminine cousine)

  1. cousin (male)
Derived terms[edit]
  • Turkish: kuzen

Etymology 2[edit]

From Latin culicīnus (mosquito-like), from culex (gnat, midge).


cousin m (plural cousins)

  1. crane fly
    Synonym: maringouin
Derived terms[edit]
  • cousinière (protective mesh against crane flies)

Further reading[edit]

Middle French[edit]


From Old French cosin.


cousin m (plural cousins, feminine singular cousine, feminine plural cousines)

  1. male cousin



Alternative forms[edit]


From Old French cosin, from Latin cōnsōbrīnus.


cousin m (plural cousins, feminine cousaine)

  1. (Guernsey) (male) cousin