blood relation

Stranger in blood

Stranger in blood is a term used to describe a person who is not a blood relation of another. It is therefore the opposite of next of kin. Most commonly, it is used to describe a beneficiary to a will. The term is used legally in America, Britain and India amongst other countries.

Notable instances

Suspected serial killer John Bodkin Adams was identified as a 'stranger in blood' in the wills of 132 of his patients.

Similar terms in other languages

The Hebrew word 'zar' is used in the Bible to describe a non-member of a tribe (see: Book of Numbers 16:40 and 1:51, or Deuteronomy 25:5).


In heraldry, being a stranger in blood - through adoption for example - is indicated via a 'canton voided'.


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