(noun) Literally, related by blood; a type of kinship from a common biological ancestor.

Example: A brother and sister born from the same father and mother.

Audio Pronunciation: (con·san·guin·i·ty)

Download Audio Pronunciation: consanguinity.mp3

Usage Notes:

  • Plural: consanguinities
  • Two people with a consanguineal relationship such as a biological brother and sister are called consanguines.
  • Collateral consanguinity refers to blood relatives who are not biologically descended from each other such as cousins, either cross-cousins or parallel cousins and lineal consanguinity refers to blood relatives biologically descended from each other such an individual’s biological father and mother. Collateral consanguinity and lineal consanguinity are typically used in law to determine inheritance of property, who can testify in certain situations, and the legality of a marriage between two people to avoid incest.
  • Kinship relationships based on descent are called consanguineal relations.
  • Lewis Henry Morgan’s (1818–1881) Systems of Consanguinity and Affinity in the Human Family (1871) and Claude Lévi-Strauss’s (1908–2009) The Elementary Structures of Kinship (1949) help establish the study of kinship as a distinct field of anthropology and sociology. Morgan and Lévi-Strauss among other kinship writers were critiqued by David M. Schneider (1918–1995) in American Kinship: A Cultural Account and A Critique of the Study of Kinship (1984). Schneider ‘s work reinvigorated the study of kinship.
  • Affinity (related by marriage) is the opposite of consanguinity.
  • A type of kinship.
  • Also called:
    • blood kinship
    • blood relationship
    • cognation
    • same-bloodedness
  • Consanguinity used in a sentence: Bailey and Chris are first cousins are were not legally allowed to marry and form a consanguineous marriage due to consanguinity laws in most of the United States.
  • A biological brother and sister are (adverb) consanguineously related and have a (adjective) consanguineous or (adjective) consanguineal relationship.

Additional Information:


Works Consulted

Abercrombie, Nicholas, Stephen Hill, and Bryan Turner. 2006. The Penguin Dictionary of Sociology. 5th ed. London: Penguin.

The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language. 5th ed. 2011. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

Bruce, Steve, and Steven Yearley. 2006. The SAGE Dictionary of Sociology. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE.

Collins English Dictionary: Complete and Unabridged. 6th ed. 2003. Glasgow, Scotland: Collins.

Jary, David, and Julia Jary. 2000. Collins Dictionary of Sociology. 3rd ed. Glasgow, Scotland: HarperCollins.

Macmillan. (N.d.) Macmillan Dictionary. (

Merriam-Webster. (N.d.) Merriam-Webster Dictionary. (

Oxford University Press. (N.d.) Oxford Dictionaries. (

Princeton University. 2010. WordNet. (

Random House Webster’s College Dictionary. 1997. New York: Random House.

Scott, John, and Gordon Marshall. 2005. A Dictionary of Sociology. New York: Oxford University Press.

Turner, Bryan S., ed. 2006. The Cambridge Dictionary of Sociology. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Wikipedia contributors. (N.d.) Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikimedia Foundation. (

Wikipedia contributors. (N.d.) Wiktionary, The Free Dictionary. Wikimedia Foundation. (


How to Cite the Definition of Consanguinity

ASA – American Sociological Association (5th edition)

Bell, Kenton, ed. 2014. “consanguinity.” In Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Retrieved July 18, 2019 (

APA – American Psychological Association (6th edition)

consanguinity. (2014). In K. Bell (Ed.), Open education sociology dictionary. Retrieved from

Chicago/Turabian: Author-Date – Chicago Manual of Style (16th edition)

Bell, Kenton, ed. 2014. “consanguinity.” In Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Accessed July 18, 2019.

MLA – Modern Language Association (7th edition)

“consanguinity.” Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Ed. Kenton Bell. 2014. Web. 18 Jul. 2019. <>.