Definitions for FAMILYˈfæm ə li, ˈfæm li

This page provides all possible meanings and translations of the word FAMILY

Random House Webster's College Dictionary

fam•i•ly*ˈfæm ə li, ˈfæm li(n.; adj.)(pl.)-lies

  1. (n.)parents and their children, considered as a group, whether dwelling together or not.

  2. the children of one person or one couple collectively.

  3. the spouse and children of one person.

    Category: Usage Note

  4. any group of persons closely related by blood, as parents, children, uncles, aunts, and cousins.

  5. all those persons considered as descendants of a common progenitor.

  6. a group of persons who form a household, esp. under one head.

  7. the staff, or body of assistants, of an official:

    the presidential family.

  8. a group of related things:

    the halogen family of elements.

  9. a group of people who are generally not blood relations but who share common attitudes, interests, or goals.

  10. Biol. the usual major subdivision of an order or suborder in the classification of plants, animals, fungi, etc., usu. consisting of several genera.

    Category: Biology

  11. Ling. the largest category into which languages related by common origin can be classified with certainty.

    Category: Language/Linguistics

    Ref: Compare stock (def. 12) 12 , subfamily (def. 2). 2

  12. a local unit of the Mafia or Cosa Nostra.

    Category: Sociology

  13. (adj.)of, pertaining to, or characteristic of a family:

    a family trait.

  14. belonging to or used by a family.

  15. suitable or appropriate for adults and children: not containing obscene language:

    a family amusement park.

    a family newspaper.

    Category: Common Vocabulary

Idioms for family:

  1. in a or the family way,pregnant.

    Category: Idiom

* Usage: See collective noun.

Origin of family:

1350–1400; ME familie < L familia

Princeton's WordNet

  1. family, household, house, home, menage(noun)

    a social unit living together

    "he moved his family to Virginia"; "It was a good Christian household"; "I waited until the whole house was asleep"; "the teacher asked how many people made up his home"

  2. family, family unit(noun)

    primary social group; parents and children

    "he wanted to have a good job before starting a family"

  3. class, category, family(noun)

    a collection of things sharing a common attribute

    "there are two classes of detergents"

  4. family, family line, folk, kinfolk, kinsfolk, sept, phratry(noun)

    people descended from a common ancestor

    "his family has lived in Massachusetts since the Mayflower"

  5. kin, kinsperson, family(noun)

    a person having kinship with another or others

    "he's kin"; "he's family"

  6. family(noun)

    (biology) a taxonomic group containing one or more genera

    "sharks belong to the fish family"

  7. syndicate, crime syndicate, mob, family(noun)

    a loose affiliation of gangsters in charge of organized criminal activities

  8. family, fellowship(noun)

    an association of people who share common beliefs or activities

    "the message was addressed not just to employees but to every member of the company family"; "the church welcomed new members into its fellowship"

Kernerman English Learner's Dictionary

  1. family(noun)ˈfæm ə li, ˈfæm li

    a group consisting usually of parents and children

    I'd like to meet your family.; single-parent families; a family of four

  2. familyˈfæm ə li, ˈfæm li

    to have children

  3. familyˈfæm ə li, ˈfæm li

    everyone related to sb and the relationship they have with each other

    There have been lots of lawyers in our family.; Family is important to me.

  4. familyˈfæm ə li, ˈfæm li

    belonging to a family

    She wants to keep the money in the family.

  5. familyˈfæm ə li, ˈfæm li

    a group of related things

    Killer whales are in the same family as dolphins.; a word family


  1. family(Noun)

    A father, mother and their sons and daughters; also called nuclear family.

    Our family lives in town.

  2. family(Noun)

    A group of people related by blood, marriage, law, or custom.

    crime family, Mafia family

  3. family(Noun)

    A kin, tribe; also called extended family.

  4. family(Noun)

    A rank in the classification of organisms, below order and above genus; a taxon at that rank.

    Magnolias belong to the family Magnoliaceae.

  5. family(Noun)

    A group of people who live together, or one that is similar to one that is related by blood, marriage, law, or custom, or members of one's intimate social group.

  6. family(Noun)

    Any group or aggregation of things classed together as kindred or related from possessing in common characteristics which distinguish them from other things of the same order.

  7. family(Noun)

    A group of instrument having the same basic method of tone production.

  8. family(Noun)

    A group of languages believed to have descended from the same ancestral language.

  9. family(Adjective)

    Suitable for children and adults.

  10. family(Adjective)

    Conservative, traditional.

    The cultural struggle is for the survival of family values against all manner of atheistic amorality.

  11. family(Adjective)


    I knew he was family when I first met him.

  12. Origin: familia, from famula.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Family(verb)

    the collective body of persons who live in one house, and under one head or manager; a household, including parents, children, and servants, and, as the case may be, lodgers or boarders

  2. Family(verb)

    the group comprising a husband and wife and their dependent children, constituting a fundamental unit in the organization of society

  3. Family(verb)

    those who descend from one common progenitor; a tribe, clan, or race; kindred; house; as, the human family; the family of Abraham; the father of a family

  4. Family(verb)

    course of descent; genealogy; line of ancestors; lineage

  5. Family(verb)

    honorable descent; noble or respectable stock; as, a man of family

  6. Family(verb)

    a group of kindred or closely related individuals; as, a family of languages; a family of States; the chlorine family

  7. Family(verb)

    a group of organisms, either animal or vegetable, related by certain points of resemblance in structure or development, more comprehensive than a genus, because it is usually based on fewer or less pronounced points of likeness. In zoology a family is less comprehesive than an order; in botany it is often considered the same thing as an order


  1. Family

    In human context, a family is a group of people affiliated by consanguinity, affinity, or co-residence. In most societies it is the principal institution for the socialization of children. Anthropologists most generally classify family organization as matrilocal; conjugal; and consanguineal in which parents and children co-reside with other members of one parent's family. There are also concepts of family that break with tradition within particular societies, or those that are transplanted via migration to flourish or else cease within their new societies. As a unit of socialization the family is the object of analysis for sociologists of the family. Genealogy is a field which aims to trace family lineages through history. In science, the term "family" has come to be used as a means to classify groups of objects as being closely and exclusively related. In the study of animals it has been found that many species form groups that have similarities to human "family"—often called "packs." Sexual relations among family members are regulated by rules concerning incest such as the incest taboo.

U.S. National Library of Medicine

  1. Family

    A social group consisting of parents or parent substitutes and children.

The Foolish Dictionary, by Gideon Wurdz


    Originally a wife and several children, a matter of pride to the possessor. Now obsolete among the careful, or confined to the wife, a bull pup and a canary bird.

British National Corpus

  1. Spoken Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'FAMILY' in Spoken Corpus Frequency: #234

  2. Written Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'FAMILY' in Written Corpus Frequency: #511

  3. Nouns Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'FAMILY' in Nouns Frequency: #36

Translations for FAMILY

Kernerman English Multilingual Dictionary


(singular or plural) a man, his wife and their children

These houses were built for families; The (members of the) Smith family are all very athletic; (also adjective) a family holiday.

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