family

[fam-uh-lee, fam-lee]
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noun, plural fam·i·lies.

adjective


Idioms

    in a/the family way, pregnant.

Origin of family

1350–1400; Middle English familie < Latin familia a household, the slaves of a household, equivalent to famul(us) servant, slave + -ia -y3
Related formsan·ti·fam·i·ly, adjectivein·ter·fam·i·ly, adjective

Usage note

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019


British Dictionary definitions for anti-family

family

noun plural -lies

  1. a primary social group consisting of parents and their offspring, the principal function of which is provision for its members
  2. (as modifier)family quarrels; a family unit
one's wife or husband and one's children
one's children, as distinguished from one's husband or wife
a group of persons related by blood; a group descended from a common ancestorCompare extended family
all the persons living together in one household
any group of related things or beings, esp when scientifically categorized
biology any of the taxonomic groups into which an order is divided and which contains one or more genera. Felidae (cat family) and Canidae (dog family) are two families of the order Carnivora
ecology a group of organisms of the same species living together in a community
a group of historically related languages assumed to derive from one original language
mainly US an independent local group of the Mafia
maths a group of curves or surfaces whose equations differ from a given equation only in the values assigned to one or more constants in each curvea family of concentric circles
physics the isotopes, collectively, that comprise a radioactive series
in the family way informal pregnant

Word Origin for family

C15: from Latin familia a household, servants of the house, from famulus servant
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for anti-family

family

n.

early 15c., "servants of a household," from Latin familia "family servants, domestics collectively, the servants in a household," thus also "members of a household, the estate, property; the household, including relatives and servants," from famulus "servant," of unknown origin. The Latin word rarely appears in the sense "parents with their children," for which domus (see domestic) was used.

In English, sense of "collective body of persons who form one household under one head and one domestic government, including parents, children, and servants, and as sometimes used even lodgers or boarders" [Century Dictionary] is from 1540s. From 1660s as "parents with their children, whether they dwell together or not," also in a more general sense, "persons closely related by blood, including aunts, uncles, cousins;" and in the most general sense "those who descend from a common progenitor" (1580s). Meaning "those claiming descent from a common ancestor, a house, a lineage" is early 15c. Hence, "any group of things classed as kindred based on common distinguishing characteristics" (1620s); as a scientific classification, between genus and order, from 1753.

I have certainly known more men destroyed by the desire to have wife and child and to keep them in comfort than I have seen destroyed by drink and harlots. [William Butler Yeats, "Autobiography"]

Replaced Old English hiwscipe. As an adjective from c.1600; with the meaning "suitable for a family," by 1807. Family values first recorded 1966. Phrase in a family way "pregnant" is from 1796. Family circle is 1809; family man "man devoted to wife and children, man inclined to lead a domestic life" is 1856 (earlier it meant "thief," 1788, from family in a slang sense of "the fraternity of thieves").

Happy family an assemblage of animals of diverse habits and propensities living amicably, or at least quietly, together in one cage. [Century Dictionary, 1902]

The phrase is attested from 1844.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for anti-family

family

[fămə-lē, fămlē]

n.

A group of blood relatives, especially parents and their children.
A taxonomic category of related organisms ranking below an order and above a genus.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Science definitions for anti-family

family

[fămə-lē]

A group of organisms ranking above a genus and below an order. The names of families end in -ae, a plural ending in Latin. In the animal kingdom, family names end in -idae, as in Canidae (dogs and their kin), while those in the plant kingdom usually end in -aceae, as in Rosaceae (roses and their kin). See Table at taxonomy.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Culture definitions for anti-family

family

In biology, the classification lower than an order and higher than a genus. Lions, tigers, cheetahs, and house cats belong to the same biological family. Human beings belong to the biological family of hominids. (See Linnean classification.)

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Idioms and Phrases with anti-family

family

see in a family way; run in the blood (family).

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.