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[kith] /kɪθ/
acquaintances, friends, neighbors, or the like; persons living in the same general locality and forming a more or less cohesive group.
a group of people living in the same area and forming a culture with a common language, customs, economy, etc., usually endogamous.
Origin of kith
before 900; Middle English; Old English cȳth, earlier cȳththu kinship, knowledge, equivalent to cūth couth2 + -thu -th1; akin to Gothic kunthi, German Kunde knowledge
Can be confused
kin, kith. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for kith
Historical Examples
  • It was difficult to believe that he was not of their own kith and kin.

    Stories from Tagore Rabindranath Tagore
  • Oliver and Stephen alone had no kith and kin to see them on this proud day.

  • All the tragedy of war swept before her; all that inspiring, strange affection for country, kith and kin, suddenly exalted her.

    The Strollers Frederic S. Isham
  • Is it true, what he says, that he's nor kith nor kin, hereabouts?

    Reels and Spindles Evelyn Raymond
  • Her face flamed hotly; for, to the mountain idea, disloyalty to "kith and kin" is the most unpardonable of offenses.

    The Code of the Mountains Charles Neville Buck
  • Her heart was still faithful to Scotland, and she loved her kith and kindred.

    Villegagnon W.H.G. Kingston
  • As a rule it was read immediately after the funeral, in the presence of kith and kin, and rarely were its provisions disputed.

    Glimpses of the Past W. O. Raymond
  • She has no kith nor kin, that I know of, able or willing to take care of her.

    Michael Penguyne William H. G. Kingston
  • His career in Corsica was at an end for the present; and with his kith and kin he set sail for France.

  • I don't see what made you keep a man that was no kith or kin to you.

    Chester Rand Horatio Alger, Jr
British Dictionary definitions for kith


one's friends and acquaintances (esp in the phrase kith and kin)
Word Origin
Old English cӯthth, from cūth; see uncouth
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 kith

Old English cyðð "kinship, relationship; kinsfolk, fellow-countrymen, neighbors; native country, home; knowledge, acquaintance, familiarity," from cuð "known," past participle of cunnan "to know" (see can (v.)). Cognate with Old High German chundida. The alliterative phrase kith and kin (late 14c.) originally meant "country and kinsmen" and is almost the word's only survival.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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