a basic social unit consisting of parents and their children, considered as a group, whether dwelling together or not: the traditional family.
a social unit consisting of one or more adults together with the children they care for: a single-parent family.
the children of one person or one couple collectively: We want a large family.
the spouse and children of one person: I'm taking the family on vacation next week.
any group of people closely related by blood or marriage, as parents, children, uncles, aunts, and cousins: to marry into a socially prominent family.
all those people considered as descendants of a common progenitor: the Tudor family of England.
Chiefly British. approved lineage, especially noble, titled, famous, or wealthy ancestry: young men of family.
a group of people who form a household under one head, including parents, children, servants, etc.
the staff, or body of assistants, of an official: the presidential family.
a group of people or things that are related by common characteristics, features, or properties: the family of romantic poets; the halogen family of elements.
a group of people who are generally not blood relations but who share common attitudes, interests, or goals and, frequently, live together: Many hippie communes of the sixties regarded themselves as families. I’m not in contact with my relatives, so my friends are my family.
a group of people who are considered to be united in a common occupation or enterprise: Our volunteers are an important part of our hospital family.
an animal or animals with their young: There goes a duck family crossing the road.
a group of products or product models made by the same manufacturer or producer: Chevrolet's family of cars.
Biology. the usual major subdivision of an order or suborder in the classification of plants, animals, fungi, etc., usually consisting of several genera.
Slang. a unit of an organized crime syndicate, especially the Mafia or Cosa Nostra, operating in one area under a local leader.
a given class of solutions of the same basic equation, differing from one another only by the different values assigned to the constants in the equation.
a class of functions or the like defined by an expression containing a parameter.
of, relating to, or characteristic of a family: a family trait.
belonging to or used by a family: a family automobile; a family room.
suitable or appropriate for adults and children: a family amusement park.
not containing obscene language: The students made a game of looking up swearwords during library time, so the librarian is investing in a new set of family dictionaries.
Idioms about family
- an·ti·fam·i·ly, adjective
- in·ter·fam·i·ly, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use family in a sentence
Odds are you've spent more time with your family this year than ever before, which is great.
In a statement, HHS said Caputo would be on leave for the next 60 days to “focus on his health and the well-being of his family.”Trump contradicts CDC director on vaccine; Biden says Americans shouldn’t trust Trump | Colby Itkowitz, Felicia Sonmez, John Wagner | September 16, 2020 | Washington Post
Conversely, Recon’s campers are designed with families and small groups in mind.
Coronavirus fears are also tied to how people plan to cast their ballots, with nearly 6 in 10 voters who are worried about a family member becoming infected saying they plan to vote early, compared with about 2 in 10 of those who are less worried.Post-ABC Wisconsin poll shows Biden holding narrow edge over Trump | Dan Balz, Emily Guskin | September 16, 2020 | Washington Post
Biden spoke at the top of a roundtable discussion in Tampa with veterans and military families.Trump, in town hall, says he wouldn’t have done anything differently on pandemic | Colby Itkowitz, Josh Dawsey, Felicia Sonmez, John Wagner | September 16, 2020 | Washington Post
Everywhere I go, ‘Hey Cartman, you must like family Guy, right?’
The third suspect, an 18-year-old named Hamyd Mourad, who turned himself in, is part of the same extended family.
Saved from the public gallows, Weeks was virtually exiled from the city, and wound up in Mississippi, where he raised a family.New York’s Most Tragic Ghost Loves Minimalist Swedish Fashion | Nina Strochlic | January 8, 2015 | THE DAILY BEAST
A spokesman for Lewisham council said last year that it would be forced to act if the family returned to Britain.Britain May Spy on Preschoolers Searching for Potential Jihadis | Nico Hines | January 7, 2015 | THE DAILY BEAST
Three on-the-record stories from a family: a mother and her daughters who came from Phoenix.I Tried to Warn You About Sleazy Billionaire Jeffrey Epstein in 2003 | Vicky Ward | January 7, 2015 | THE DAILY BEAST
And that was that if he and his wife were to ever live together again and be happy, the family were to be kept out of it.The Homesteader | Oscar Micheaux
“This house must have been the hotel of some distinguished family, Baron; it is nobly proportioned,” said David Arden.Checkmate | Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu
What course was taken to supply that assembly when any noble family became extinct?Gulliver's Travels | Jonathan Swift
The pig family did not know when Squinty would be taken away from them, and all they could do was to wait.Squinty the Comical Pig | Richard Barnum
Mrs. Jolly Robin had often wished—when she was trying to feed a rapidly-growing family—that she could hunt forp.The Tale of Grandfather Mole | Arthur Scott Bailey
British Dictionary definitions for family
a primary social group consisting of parents and their offspring, the principal function of which is provision for its members
(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 ancestor: Compare 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 curve: a family of concentric circles
physics the isotopes, collectively, that comprise a radioactive series
in the family way informal pregnant
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
Scientific definitions for family
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.
Cultural definitions for family
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.
Other Idioms and Phrases with 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.