family

Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to: navigation, search
See Wiktionary:Families for a guide to language families within Wiktionary

English[edit]

Wikipedia has an article on:

Wikipedia

Wikipedia has an article on:

Wikipedia

Etymology[edit]

From Early Modern English familie (not in Middle English), from Latin familia (the servants in a household, domestics collectively), from famulus (servant)/famula (female servant), from Old Latin famul, of obscure origin. Perhaps derived from or cognate to Oscan famel (servant).

Pronunciation[edit]

  • IPA(key): /ˈfæməli/, /ˈfæmli/
  • (file)
  • (file)
  • Hyphenation: fa‧mi‧ly

Noun[edit]

family (countable and uncountable, plural families)

  1. (countable) A group of people who are closely related to one another (by blood or marriage); for example, a set of parents and their children; an immediate family.
    Our family lives in town.
    • 1893, Walter Besant, “Prologue”, in The Ivory Gate:
      Such a scandal as the prosecution of a brother for forgery—with a verdict of guilty—is a most truly horrible, deplorable, fatal thing. It takes the respectability out of a family perhaps at a critical moment, when the family is just assuming the robes of respectability: [] it is a black spot which all the soaps ever advertised could never wash off.
    • 2013 June 1, “Towards the end of poverty”, The Economist, volume 407, number 8838, page 11: 
      America’s poverty line is $63 a day for a family of four. In the richer parts of the emerging world $4 a day is the poverty barrier. But poverty’s scourge is fiercest below $1.25 ([…]): people below that level live lives that are poor, nasty, brutish and short.
  2. (countable) An extended family; a group of people who are related to one another by blood or marriage.
    • 1915, William T. Groves, A History and Genealogy of the Groves Family in America
  3. (countable) A (close-knit) group of people related by blood, marriage, law, or custom, especially if they live or work together.
    crime family, Mafia family
    This is my fraternity family at the university.
    Our company is one big happy family.
  4. (countable, biology, taxonomy) A rank in the classification of organisms, below order and above genus; a taxon at that rank.
    Magnolias belong to the family Magnoliaceae.
    • 1992, Rudolf M. Schuster, The Hepaticae and Anthocerotae of North America: East of the Hundredth Meridian, volume V, page 4
      The closest affinities of the Jubulaceae are with the Lejeuneaceae. The two families share in common: a elaters usually 1-spiral, trumpet-shaped and fixed to the capsule valves, distally [] .
  5. (countable) 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.
    Doliracetam is a drug from the racetam family.
  6. (countable, music) A group of instruments having the same basic method of tone production.
    the brass family;  the violin family
  7. (countable, linguistics) A group of languages believed to have descended from the same ancestral language.
    the Indo-European language family;  the Afro-Asiatic language family
  8. Used attributively.
    The dog was kept as a family pet.
    For Apocynaceae, this type of flower is a family characteristic.
    • 2013 June 14, Jonathan Freedland, “Obama's once hip brand is now tainted”, The Guardian Weekly, volume 189, number 1, page 18: 
      Now we are liberal with our innermost secrets, spraying them into the public ether with a generosity our forebears could not have imagined. Where we once sent love letters in a sealed envelope, or stuck photographs of our children in a family album, now such private material is despatched to servers and clouds operated by people we don't know and will never meet.

Usage notes[edit]

  • In some dialects, family is used as a plurale tantum.

Synonyms[edit]

Translations[edit]

The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Help:How to check translations.

Derived terms[edit]

Adjective[edit]

family (not comparable)

  1. Suitable for children and adults.
    It's not good for a date, it's a family restaurant.
    Some animated movies are not just for kids, they are family movies.
  2. Conservative, traditional.
    The cultural struggle is for the survival of family values against all manner of atheistic amorality.
  3. (slang) Homosexual.
    I knew he was family when I first met him.

Translations[edit]

Derived terms[edit]

Related terms[edit]

See also[edit]

Statistics[edit]

External links[edit]