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From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Kindergarten \Kin"der*gar`ten\, n. [G., lit., children's garden; kinder (pl. of kind child, akin to E. kin kindred) + garten garden.] 1. A class within a primary school or a separate school for young children, usually between the ages of four and six years, designed to adapt children to the classroom environment before beginning academic training, on the theory that education should be begun by gratifying and cultivating the normal aptitude for exercise, play, observation, imitation, and construction; -- a name given by Friedrich Froebel, a German educator, who introduced this method of training, in rooms opening on a garden. [1913 Webster]