What word or phrase does your mother always say?


[kahynd] /kaɪnd/
a class or group of individual objects, people, animals, etc., of the same nature or character, or classified together because they have traits in common; category:
Our dog is the same kind as theirs.
nature or character as determining likeness or difference between things:
These differ in degree rather than in kind.
a person or thing as being of a particular character or class:
He is a strange kind of hero.
a more or less adequate or inadequate example of something; sort:
The vines formed a kind of roof.
  1. the nature, or natural disposition or character.
  2. manner; form.
Obsolete. gender; sex.
in kind,
  1. in something of the same kind or in the same way as that received or borne:
    They will be repaid in kind for their rudeness.
  2. in goods, commodities, or services rather than money:
    In colonial times, payment was often made in kind.
kind of, Informal. to some extent; somewhat; rather:
The room was kind of dark.
of a kind, of the same class, nature, character, etc.:
They are two of a kind.
Origin of kind2
before 900; Middle English kinde, Old English gecynd nature, race, origin; cognate with Old Norse kyndi, Old High German kikunt, Latin gēns (genitive gentis); see kin
Can be confused
kind, sort, type (see usage note at the current entry; see usage note at type)
1. order, genus, species; breed; set.
Usage note
The phrase these (or those) kind of, followed by a plural noun (these kind of flowers; those kind of shoes) is frequently condemned as ungrammatical because it is said to combine a plural demonstrative (these; those) with a singular noun, kind. Historically, kind is an unchanged or unmarked plural noun like deer, folk, sheep, and swine, and the construction these kind of is an old one, occurring in the writings of Shakespeare, Swift, Jane Austen, and, in modern times, Jimmy Carter and Winston Churchill. Kind has also developed the plural kinds, evidently because of the feeling that the old pattern was incorrect. These kind of nevertheless persists in use, especially in less formal speech and writing. In edited, more formal prose, this kind of and these kinds of are more common. Sort of has been influenced by the use of kind as an unchanged plural: these sort of books. This construction too is often considered incorrect and appears mainly in less formal speech and writing.
Kind (or sort) of as an adverbial modifier meaning “somewhat” occurs in informal speech and writing: Sales have been kind (or sort) of slow these last few weeks. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for kinds
  • Your region's winter temperatures play an important role in determining what kinds of citrus you can grow.
  • The fine, upright foliage of taller deciduous kinds ripples in the slightest breeze.
  • Hand pulling or hoeing is your first line of defense against weeds, especially annual and biennial kinds.
  • The best-looking trees use one or two kinds and colors of flowers.
  • Some kinds of plants can also be started from leaf or root cuttings.
  • And when water is scarce, many kinds can survive on little more than rainfall.
  • Pick your level of heat with one or two kinds of chilies.
  • We give them all kinds of tempting test-kitchen food scraps to make their eggs more luscious.
  • But eventually she longed to branch out, using other kinds of plants.
  • He prefers combining a half-dozen kinds in pots, blending tone-on-tone patterns reminiscent of brocades.
British Dictionary definitions for kinds


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 kinds



"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 kinds


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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