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[kahynd] /kaɪnd/
adjective, kinder, kindest.
of a good or benevolent nature or disposition, as a person:
a kind and loving person.
having, showing, or proceeding from benevolence:
kind words.
indulgent, considerate, or helpful; humane (often followed by to):
to be kind to animals.
mild; gentle; clement:
kind weather.
British Dialect. loving; affectionate.
Origin of kind1
before 900; Middle English kind(e) natural, well-disposed, Old English gecynde natural, genial1. See kind2
1. mild, benign, benignant, gentle, tender, compassionate. Kind, gracious, kindhearted, kindly imply a sympathetic attitude toward others, and a willingness to do good or give pleasure. Kind implies a deep-seated characteristic shown either habitually or on occasion by considerate behavior: a kind father. Gracious often refers to kindness from a superior or older person to a subordinate, an inferior, a child, etc.: a gracious monarch. Kindhearted implies an emotionally sympathetic nature, sometimes easily imposed upon: a kindhearted old woman. Kindly, a mild word, refers usually to general disposition, appearance, manner, etc.: a kindly face.
1. cruel. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for kindest
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The kindest folks alive I have found among those scowling whiskeradoes.

    The Newcomes William Makepeace Thackeray
  • The kindest attentions of the warmest friendship were awaiting him at Naples.

  • "You have always been one of the kindest and best mothers a girl ever had," said Clara, warmly.

    A California Girl Edward Eldridge
  • He felt, just then, that it was the kindest thing he could do.

    Good Indian B. M. Bower
  • He had no idea of meddling, but came with the kindest intentions, thinking he should feel better when the load was off his mind.

    Family Pride Mary J. Holmes
British Dictionary definitions for kindest


having a friendly or generous nature or attitude
helpful to others or to another: a kind deed
considerate or humane
cordial; courteous (esp in the phrase kind regards)
pleasant; agreeable; mild: a kind climate
(informal) beneficial or not harmful: a detergent that is kind to the hands
(archaic) loving
Word Origin
Old English gecynde natural, native; see kind²


a class or group having characteristics in common; sort; type: two of a kind, what kind of creature?
an instance or example of a class or group, esp a rudimentary one: heating of a kind
essential nature or character: the difference is one of kind rather than degree
(archaic) gender or sex
(archaic) nature; the natural order
in kind
  1. (of payment) in goods or produce rather than in money
  2. with something of the same sort: to return an insult in kind
(informal) kind of
  1. (adverb) somewhat; rather: kind of tired
  2. (sentence substitute) used to express reservation or qualified assent: I figured it out. Kind of
Usage note
The mixture of plural and singular constructions, although often used informally with kind and sort, should be avoided in serious writing: children enjoy those kinds (not those kind) of stories; these sorts (not these sort) of distinctions are becoming blurred
Word Origin
Old English gecynd nature; compare Old English cynkin, Gothic kuni race, Old High German kikunt, Latin gens
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for kindest



"class, sort, variety," from Old English gecynd "kind, nature, race," related to cynn "family" (see kin), from Proto-Germanic *gakundjaz "family, race" (see kind (adj.)). Ælfric's rendition of "the Book of Genesis" into Old English came out gecyndboc. The prefix disappeared 1150-1250. No exact cognates beyond English, but it corresponds to adjective endings such as Goth -kunds, Old High German -kund. Also in English as a suffix (mankind, etc.). Other earlier, now obsolete, senses in English included "character, quality derived from birth" and "manner or way natural or proper to anyone." Use in phrase a kind of (1590s) led to colloquial extension as adverb (1804) in phrases such as kind of stupid ("a kind of stupid (person)").


"friendly, deliberately doing good to others," from Old English gecynde "natural, native, innate," originally "with the feeling of relatives for each other," from Proto-Germanic *gakundiz "natural, native," from *kunjam (see kin), with collective prefix *ga- and abstract suffix *-iz. Sense development from "with natural feelings," to "well-disposed" (c.1300), "benign, compassionate" (c.1300).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Idioms and Phrases with kindest


In addition to the idiom beginning with
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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