1The state, condition, or fact of being a cousin; kinship, consanguinity.
Apparently not recorded in the 17th century.
2In extended and figurative use: affinity, similarity, relatedness. Compare "cousin". rare after 16th century.
3A body of cousins or relatives; an extended family group.
Apparently not recorded in the 17th and 18th centuries.
historical A right to land based on one's status as next of kin. Chiefly in "writ of cosinage" (occasionally also "writ of cousinage"): an action by a party based on the seisin of a person to whom that party is next of kin, for the recovery of land of which that party had been dispossessed. Compare "cousin".
Writs of cosinage were typically issued only in cases where the next of kin was a collateral relative, or a lineal descendant more remote than a great-grandchild; compare writ of aiel, "writ of besaile".
Late Middle English; earliest use found in The Midland Prose Psalter. From Anglo-Norman cosinage, cusinage, cusingnage, Anglo-Norman and Middle French cousinage, Middle French cousignage (French cousinage) affinity, relatedness, kinship, consanguinity, relatives collectively, in Anglo-Norman also a right to land based on one's status as next of kin from cosin, cousin + -age.