Cousin Terms and Definitions

First Cousin

Your first cousin is a child of your aunt or uncle. You share one set of grandparents with your first cousin, but do not have the same parents.

Second Cousin

Your second cousin is the grandchild of your great-aunt or great-uncle. You share one set of great-grandparents with your second cousin, but do not have the same grandparents.

Third, Fourth, and Fifth Cousins

Your third cousin is the great-grandchild of your great-great-aunt or great-great-uncle. You share a set of great-great-grandparents with your third cousin, but do not have the same great-grandparents. Fourth cousins have one set of great-great-great-grandparents, but not the same great-great-grandparents. And so on.


Cousins of different generations is explained by using the word "removed". Saying that cousins are "once removed" means that there is a difference of one generation between cousins. For example, the first cousin of your father is your first cousin, once removed. In this case, your father's first cousin is one generation younger than your grandparents and you are two generations younger than your grandparents. This one-generation difference is explained by saying that your are cousins "once removed."

Twice removed means that there is a two-generation difference between cousins. If you are two generations younger than the first cousin of your grandparent, then the relationship between you and your grandparent's first cousin are first cousins, twice removed.

See the cousin calculator to help determine cousin removed relationships.

Cross Cousin

A cousin who is the child of one's mother's brother or one's father's sister.

Parallel Cousin

A cousin who is the child of one's mother's sister or one's father's brother. Parallel cousins are the children of two brothers or two sisters.

Double Cousins

If two siblings in one family marry two siblings from another family and each couple has a child, the children are double first cousins. The addition of the word double to the first cousin term is because because they share the same four grandparents. Regular first cousins share only one set of common grandparents, while double first cousins share both sets of grandparents plus all lineal and collateral relatives.

Kissing Cousin

A distant relative known well enough to be kissed when greeted.


One who begets, or brings forth, offspring; a father or a mother.


One who has begotten a child, whether son or daughter; a generator; a male parent.


Of or pertaining to a father; Received or derived from a father; hereditary; as, a paternal estate.


A female parent; especially, one of the human race; a woman who has borne a child.


Of or pertaining to a mother.


A parent of one's mother or father; grandfather or grandmother.


A father's or mother's father; an ancestor in the next degree above the father or mother in lineal ascent.


The mother of one's father or mother.


The father of one's grandfather or grandmother.


The mother of one's grandfather or grandmother.


A son or a daughter; a male or female descendant, in the first degree; the immediate progeny of human parents.


A male child; the male issue, or offspring, of a parent, father or mother.


The female offspring of the human species; a female child of any age.

Grandson & Granddaughter

A son's or daughter's son. And the daughter of one's son or daughter.


A person's brother or sister.


A male person who has the same father and mother with another person.


A brother by one parent, but not by both.


A female who has the same parents with another person.


A sister by one parent, but not by both.


The brother of one's father or mother; also applied to an aunt's husband.


The sister of one's father or mother.

Granduncle or Great-uncle

A father's or mother's uncle.

Grandaunt or Great-aunt

The aunt of one's father or mother.


The son of a brother or a sister, or of a brother-in-law or sister-in-law.


A daughter of one's brother or sister, or of one's brother-in-law or sister-in-law.


The grandson of one's brother or sister.


The granddaughter of one's brother or sister.

A relative by marriage.

  • Brother-in-law

    The brother of one's husband or wife; also, the husband of one's sister.

  • Sister-in-law

    The sister of one's husband or wife; also, the wife of one's brother.

  • Father-in-law

    The father of one's husband or wife.

  • Mother-in-law

    The mother of one's husband or wife.

  • Son-in-law

    The husband of one's daughter.

  • Daughter-in-law

    The wife of one's son.

A relative by subsequent marriage

  • Step-father

    The husband of one's mother by a subsequent marriage.

  • Step-mother

    The wife of one's father by a subsequent marriage.

  • Step-brother

    A brother by the marriage of one's father with the mother of another, or of one's mother with the father of another.

  • Step-sister

    A daughter of one's stepfather or stepmother by a former marriage.

  • Step-son

    A son of one's husband or wife by a former marriage.

  • Step-daughter

    A daughter of one's wife or husband by a former marriage.


Relationship by marriage (as between a husband and his wife's blood relations, or between a wife and her husband's blood relations); -- in contradistinction to consanguinity, or relationship by blood; kinship by marriage or adoption; not a blood relationship.


One from whom a person is descended, whether on the father's or mother's side, at any distance of time; a progenitor; a forefather.


A series of ancestors or progenitors; lineage, or those who compose the line of natural descent.


Someone from whom you are descended but usually more remote than a grandparent. An earlier or higher generation.


The descendants of one individual; pedigree.


Descending from the same stock or ancestor, but not in the same line or branch or one from the other.


The relation of persons by blood, in distinction from affinity or relation by marriage; blood relationship; as, lineal consanguinity; collateral consanguinity.

Degree of Kinship

The level of relationship between two persons related by blood, such as parent to child, one sibling to another, grandparent to grandchild or uncle to nephew, first cousins, etc., calculated as one degree for each step from a common ancestor. This may become important when determining the heirs of an estate when there is no will.


Properties attributable to your ancestry; the descendants of one individual; one generation of a specific lineage; derivation, as from an ancestor; procedure by generation; lineage; birth; extraction.


A person descended from his or her older generations.


People descended from a common ancestor; a person having kinship with another or others; The group comprising a husband and wife and their dependent children, constituting a fundamental unit in the organization of society.


One who precedes another in the line of genealogy in any degree, but usually in a remote degree; an ancestor.


A single step or stage in the succession of natural descent; a rank or remove in genealogy. The body of those who are of the same genealogical rank or remove from an ancestor; the mass of beings living at one period; also, the average lifetime of man, or the ordinary period of time at which one rank follows another, or father is succeeded by child, usually assumed to be one third of a century; an age.


An account or history of the descent of a person or family from an ancestor; enumeration of ancestors and their children in the natural order of succession; a pedigree. Study of one's ancestry; summary history or table of a person's ancestry. Regular descent of a person or family from a progenitor; pedigree; lineage.


Relatives; persons of the same family or race.


Relationship by birth or marriage; consanguinity; affinity; kin.


Descent in a line from a common progenitor; progeny; race; descending line of offspring or ascending line of parentage.


A line of ancestors; descent; lineage; genealogy; a register or record of a line of ancestors.


An ancestor in the direct line; a forefather.


A person connected by blood or affinity; strictly, one allied by blood; a relation; a kinsman or kinswoman.


A person connected by consanguinity or affinity; a relative; a kinsman or kinswoman; a person related by blood or marriage.

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