In kinship terminology, a cousin is a relative with whom a person shares one or more common ancestor(s) (other than a parent, child/descendant, sibling, child/descendant of a sibling, or sibling of a parent/ancestor). However in common parlance, "cousin" normally specifically means "first cousin".
Systems of "degrees" and "removals" are used in the English-speaking world to describe the exact relationship between two cousins (in the broad sense) and the ancestor they have in common. Various governmental entities have established systems for legal use that can more precisely specify kinships with common ancestors existing any number of generations in the past, though common usage often eliminates the degrees and removals and refers to people with common ancestry as simply "distant cousins" or "relatives".
Famous quotes containing the word cousin:
“I against my brother
I and my brother against our cousin
I, my brother and our cousin against the neighbors
All of us against the foreigner.”
—Bedouin Proverb. Quoted by Bruce Chatwin in From the Notebooks, ch. 30, The Songlines (1987)
“The Empress is Legitimist, my cousin is Republican, Morny is Orleanist, I am a socialist; the only Bonapartist is Persigny, and he is mad.”
—Napoleon Bonaparte III (18081873)