Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A child of one's aunt or uncle.
  • noun A relative descended from a common ancestor, such as a grandparent, by two or more steps in a diverging line.
  • noun A relative by blood or marriage; a kinsman or kinswoman.
  • noun A member of a kindred group or country.
  • noun Something similar in quality or character.
  • noun Used as a form of address by a sovereign in addressing another sovereign or a high-ranking member of the nobility.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun In general, one collaterally related by blood more remotely than a brother or sister; a relative; a kinsman or kinswoman; hence, a term of address used by a king to a nobleman, particularly to one who is a member of the council, or to a fellow-sovereign.
  • noun Specifically, in modern usage The son or daughter of an uncle or an aunt, or one related by descent in a diverging line from a known common ancestor. The children of brothers and sisters are called cousins, cousins german, first cousins, or full cousins; children of first cousins are called second cousins, etc. Often, however, the term second cousin is loosely applied to the son or daughter of a cousin german, more properly called a first cousin once removed.
  • Allied; kindred.
  • To call “cousin”; claim kindred with. See cousin, n.
  • An obsolete spelling of cozen.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun One collaterally related more remotely than a brother or sister; especially, the son or daughter of an uncle or aunt.
  • noun 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.
  • noun obsolete Allied; akin.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun The son or daughter of a person’s uncle or aunt; a first cousin.
  • noun Any relation who is not a direct ancestor or descendant; one more distantly related than an uncle, aunt, granduncle, grandaunt, nephew, niece, grandnephew, grandniece, etc.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun the child of your aunt or uncle

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English cosin, a relative, from Old French, from Latin cōnsōbrīnus, cousin : com-, com- + sōbrīnus, cousin on the mother's side; see swesor- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Old French cosin, from Latin consobrinus, from com- + sobrinus.

Examples

Comments

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  • The Century Dictionary tells us that nuncle "was the licensed appellation given by a fool to his master or superior, the fools themselves calling one another cousin.'

    March 16, 2012