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1903, modern revival of Old English sibling (relative, a relation, kinsman), equivalent to sib +‎ -ling. Compare Middle English sib, sibbe (relative; kinsman). The term apparently meant merely kin or relative until the 20th century when its necessity for the study of genetics led to its specialized use. For example, the OED has a 1903 citation in which "sibling" must be defined for those who don't know the intended meaning.

"1903 K. PEARSON in Biometrika II. 369 These [calculations] will enable predict the probable character in any individual from a knowledge of one or more parents or brethren (‘siblings’, = brothers or sisters)." ("Sibling," OED.)



sibling (plural siblings)

  1. A person who shares a parent; one's brother, sister or a non-binary person one shares a parent with
    None of my siblings are married yet.
  2. (computing theory) A node in a data structure that shares its parent with another node.

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