a kind of
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a kind of (something)
A replacement or alternative to (the real thing). I had to use the block of wood as a kind of hammer to get the loose nail back into place.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
a kind of something
a variety of something that is fairly close to the real thing, even though it is not exactly the real thing. I used a folded newspaper as a kind of hat to keep the rain off. Bill is serving as a kind of helper or assistant on this project.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.