• synonyms


[suhb-fam-uh-lee, -fam-lee, suhb-fam-uh-lee, -fam-lee]
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noun, plural sub·fam·i·lies.
  1. Biology. a category of related genera within a family.
  2. Linguistics. (in the classification of related languages within a family) a category of a higher order than a branch.Compare branch(def 8), family(def 14).
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Origin of subfamily

First recorded in 1825–35; sub- + family
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for subfamily

sort, division, kind, compartment, group, variety, brand, breed, style, department, section, genre, subdivision, model, category, class, make, subfamily

Examples from the Web for subfamily

Historical Examples of subfamily

British Dictionary definitions for subfamily


noun plural -lies
  1. biology a taxonomic group that is a subdivision of a family
  2. any analogous subdivision, as of a family of languages
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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

subfamily in Medicine


  1. A taxonomic category ranking between a family and a genus.
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

subfamily in Science


  1. A subdivision of a family of organisms, containing one or more genera. The names of subfamilies in the animal kingdom typically end in -inae, as in Cerambycinae, a subfamily of the longhorn beetle family Cerambycidae.
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The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.