noun, plural fam·i·lies.
- 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.
- 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.
- a set.
Origin of family
Examples from the Web for family
Everywhere I go, ‘Hey Cartman, you must like Family Guy, right?’
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|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|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|DAILY BEAST
Ney said McDonnell needs to “keep a stiff lip” and stay in close contact with family members.Abramoff’s Advice for Virginia’s New Jailhouse Guv|Tim Mak, Jackie Kucinich|January 7, 2015|DAILY BEAST
She represented, not the institution of the family, but the institution of the Church.Woman in Modern Society|Earl Barnes
Strangers who come at this time of day at once enter the family circle.Historic Highways of America (Vol. 12)|Archer Butler Hulbert
The simple fact was, that Pope's grandfather, the highest they could trace the family, was a clergyman in Hampshire.
Kittens are not hereditary in the family of fowls, and she knew it.
All the other children in the family of unusually superior intelligence.The Measurement of Intelligence|Lewis Madison Terman
British Dictionary definitions for family
noun plural -lies
- 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
Word Origin for family
Word Origin and History for family
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.
Medicine definitions for family
Science definitions for family
Culture definitions for 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.)
Idioms and Phrases with family
see in a family way; run in the blood (family).