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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
  • His intent was simple, keep kith and kin informed while cutting down on e-mail traffic.
  • Letting kith and kin fiddle with focus online may not be enough to fuel demand.
  • kith and kin caregivers typically have no formal training in providing care or in early childhood education.
  • Support to new mothers may be available among generations, kith and kin networks or close neighborhood networks.
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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