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1. A child of one's aunt or uncle. Also called first cousin.
2. A relative descended from a common ancestor, such as a grandparent, by two or more steps in a diverging line.
3. A relative by blood or marriage; a kinsman or kinswoman.
4. A member of a kindred group or country: our Canadian cousins.
5. Something similar in quality or character: "There's no mistaking soca for its distant Jamaican cousin, reggae" (Michael Saunders).
6. Used as a form of address by a sovereign in addressing another sovereign or a high-ranking member of the nobility.

[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.]

cous′in·hood′ n.
cous′in·ly adj.
cous′in·ship′ n.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
The extent of our familial concern diminishes even more rapidly as we move inward into increasing degrees of cousinhood than it does as we move downward along the scale of genealogical descent.
For those who inhabit the lower echelons of patrimonial networks, relatedness is a prime qualifier for entitlement, yet, in a country where cousinhood is not necessarily defined in close family terms, but also used in a classificatory manner to refer to anyone within the same generation from one's kindred group, the term can be extended or curtailed as needed.
Goodwin writes of Providence: "Generations of local marriages have produced a vast cousinhood or a never-ending high school reunion."
From an onomasiological point of view, forms like gardenhood, bookhood and brickhood are less typical than cousinhood or tutorhood because their mark lacks the semes [+Animate] and [+Human] preferred by -hood.