Collateral is a term used in kinship to describe kin, or lines of kin, that are not in a direct line of descent from an individual.[1] Examples of collateral relatives include siblings of parents or grandparents and their descendants (uncles, aunts, and cousins).[2] Collateral descent is contrasted with lineal descent: those related directly by a line of descent such as the children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, etc. of an individual. Though both forms are consanguineal (blood relations), collaterals are neither ancestors nor descendants of a given person.[3] In legal terminology, 'Collateral descendant' refers to relatives descended from a sibling of an ancestor, and thus a niece, nephew, or cousin.[4]

See also


  1. ^ "72-11-102. Types of kinship – lineal and collateral".
  2. ^ Michael Rhum. (1997), 'collaterals' in T. Barfields (ed.), The Dictionary of Anthropology, Malden MA: Blackwell Publishing, p.69
  3. ^ Alan Barnard and Jonathan Spencer. (2002), 'collateral', Encyclopedia of Social and Cultural Anthropology, London: Routledge, p.598
  4. ^ "Collateral descendant". Law Dictionary. Retrieved 5 February 2012.