relation , relative , kinsman : The distinction between these words is not commonly known. A relation or relative is one to whom another may be related by ties of blood or by law. Thus, a brother is a relation or relative by ties of blood; and a brother-in-law is a relation or relative by law. A kinsman, as the formation of the word shows, is a “man's kin”; that is, one of his own blood, as a brother or cousin.