1. paid or given in goods, commodities, or services instead of money: in-kind welfare programs.
  2. paying or returning something of the same kind as that received or offered.


  1. 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.
  2. nature or character as determining likeness or difference between things: These differ in degree rather than in kind.
  3. a person or thing as being of a particular character or class: He is a strange kind of hero.
  4. a more or less adequate or inadequate example of something; sort: The vines formed a kind of roof.
  5. Archaic.
    1. the nature, or natural disposition or character.
    2. manner; form.
  6. Obsolete. gender; sex.
  1. 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.
  2. kind of, Informal. to some extent; somewhat; rather: The room was kind of dark.
  3. of a kind, of the same class, nature, character, etc.: They are two of a kind.


  1. having a friendly or generous nature or attitude
  2. helpful to others or to anothera kind deed
  3. considerate or humane
  4. cordial; courteous (esp in the phrase kind regards)
  5. pleasant; agreeable; milda kind climate
  6. informal beneficial or not harmfula detergent that is kind to the hands
  7. archaic loving


  1. a class or group having characteristics in common; sort; typetwo of a kind; what kind of creature?
  2. an instance or example of a class or group, esp a rudimentary oneheating of a kind
  3. essential nature or characterthe difference is one of kind rather than degree
  4. archaic gender or sex
  5. archaic nature; the natural order
  6. in kind
    1. (of payment) in goods or produce rather than in money
    2. with something of the same sortto return an insult in kind
  7. kind of informal
    1. (adverb)somewhat; ratherkind of tired
    2. (sentence substitute)used to express reservation or qualified assentI figured it out. Kind of

“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).

In addition to the idiom beginning with kind

  • kind of

also see:

  • all kinds of
  • in kind
  • nothing of the kind
  • of a kind
  • two of a kind
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