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Old English[edit]


From Proto-Germanic *kunją, from Proto-Indo-European *ǵenh₁- (to produce). Cognate with Old Frisian kin, Old Saxon kunni, Old Dutch *kunni, Old High German kunni, Old Norse kyn, Gothic 𐌺𐌿𐌽𐌹 (kuni). The Indo-European root is also the source of Ancient Greek γένος (génos), Latin genus.



cynn n (nominative plural cynn)

  1. kind, more specifically family, tribe, race, species
  2. (grammar) gender
    • c. 995, Ælfric, Extracts on Grammar in English
      Is ēac tō witenne þæt naman bēoþ oft ōðres cynnes on Lǣden and ōðres cynnes on Englisċ.
      Note also that nouns are often one gender in Latin and another gender in English.
  3. (rare) natural gender


Derived terms[edit]


  • Middle English: kin, kyn, ken, kun