Build your vocabulary with Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day! Each day a Merriam-Webster editor offers insight into a fascinating new word -- explaining its meaning, current use, and little-known details about its origin.
August 12th, 2015
Episode 285 of 713 episodes
Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for August 12, 2015 is: kindred \KIN-drud\ adjective 1 : of a similar nature or character : like 2 : of the same ancestry Examples: Jessica found a kindred songwriting spirit in Brigid, and soon the two women were collaborating on a new album. "The boys were well-behaved and inseparable. Kindred souls, as preschoolers they spoke to each other in 'twin language,' their mother said, using words that no one else understood." Clare Ansberry, Wall Street Journal, March 3, 2015 Did you know? If you believe that advice and relatives are inseparable, the etymology of kindred will prove you right. Kindred comes from a combination of kin (a word for one's relatives) and the Old English word ræden ("condition"), which itself comes from the verb ræden, meaning "to advise." Kindred entered English as a noun first, in the 12th century. That noun, which can refer to a group of related individuals or to one's own relatives, gave rise to the adjective kindred in the 14th century.