Also known as a kindred soul, a kindred spirit is one who shares certain beliefs, values, or interests with another person. For example, if two people say they are kindred spirits, it means they have certain similarities. By the definition of the words that make up the saying, the two people have a likeness that forms a relationship or association between them. Other factors, such as similarities in age and gender, can help make a kindred spirit relationship stronger, but they don’t have to exist for two or more people to be kindred souls. Likewise, a kindred spirit relationship isn’t limited to one between two people, and can exist among larger entities like groups and organizations.
Just as they can with many other types of idiomatic expressions, people can dissect “kindred spirit” to discover its meaning. In other words, by considering the two separate words in the idiom, “kindred” and “spirit,” and their definitions, a person can figure out the definition of the idiom as a whole. Generally, “kindred” is a word people use to describe some sort of relationship or association between two or more people or entities. “Spirit” or “soul” often refers to the individual. So, if a certain number of people or entities are kindred spirits or kindred souls, some sort of relationship or association connects them.
Basically, the only qualifying factor for two people to be kindred spirits is a shared feature of some sort. Usually this feature is a belief or value, or an interest in some activity, hobby, or cause. Sometimes, the feature might be a similar religion, faith, or mode of spirituality. While they might foster a kindred spirit relationship between people, factors such as age, gender, and race don’t necessarily prevent such a relationship. A male and female can be kindred souls, just as people of different age groups and races can be kindred souls.
Usually, a kindred spirit is one person who is in some way similar to another person. Yet, people can use the expression to describe larger entities. For example, the students of two separate universities who share the same rival university might consider their schools kindred spirits. Similarly, the chairmen of two charity organizations working toward the same goal of feeding the hungry might consider their organizations kindred souls. Sometimes, people even consider animals to be kindred spirits, whether with one another or with their human owners.