[ suhb-fam-uh-lee, -fam-lee, suhb-fam-uh-lee, -fam-lee ]
/ sʌbˈfæm ə li, -ˈfæm li, ˈsʌbˌfæm ə li, -ˌfæm li /
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noun, plural sub·fam·i·lies.
Biology. a category of related genera within a family.
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. 16).
Were you ready for a quiz on this topic? Well, here it is! See how well you can differentiate between the uses of "was" vs. "were" in this quiz.
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“Was” is used for the indicative past tense of “to be,” and “were” is only used for the subjunctive past tense.

Origin of subfamily

First recorded in 1825–35; sub- + family
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022

How to use subfamily in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for subfamily

/ (ˈsʌbˌfæmɪlɪ) /

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

Medical definitions for subfamily

[ sŭbfăm′ə-lē ]

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

Scientific definitions for subfamily

[ sŭbfăm′ə-lē ]

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.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.