family

[ fam-uh-lee, fam-lee ]
/ ˈfæm ə li, ˈfæm li /

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 forms

an·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 in the family way

family

/ (ˈfæmɪlɪ, ˈfæmlɪ) /

noun plural -lies


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

Medicine definitions for in the family way

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 in the family way

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 in the family way

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 in the family way (1 of 2)

in the family way

Pregnant, as in Mary's in the family way again. This euphemistic expression dates from the late 1700s and may be dying out.


Idioms and Phrases with in the family way (2 of 2)

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.