Simple Definition of family
: a group of people who are related to each other
: a person's children
: a group of related people including people who lived in the past
Full Definition of family
1 : a group of individuals living under one roof and usually under one head : household
4 : a group of things related by common characteristics: as a : a closely related series of elements or chemical compounds b : a group of soils with similar chemical and physical properties (as texture, pH, and mineral content) that comprise a category ranking above the series and below the subgroup in soil classification c : a group of related languages descended from a single ancestral language
5 a : the basic unit in society traditionally consisting of two parents rearing their children; also : any of various social units differing from but regarded as equivalent to the traditional family <a single-parent family> b : spouse and children <want to spend more time with my family>
6 a : a group of related plants or animals forming a category ranking above a genus and below an order and usually comprising several to many genera b in livestock breeding (1) : the descendants or line of a particular individual especially of some outstanding female (2) : an identifiable strain within a breed
7 : a set of curves or surfaces whose equations differ only in parameters
8 : a unit of a crime syndicate (as the Mafia) operating within a geographical area
Examples of family in a sentence
The disappearance of decent-paying low-skilled jobs over the last 30 years makes it virtually impossible for a young high-school dropout to successfully support a family on a legitimate income. —Karen De Witt, Essence, August 1994
A defendant in a racketeering trial was described yesterday as a Mafia captain who had carried out a plot to kill three rivals in the Bonanno crime family. —Arnold H. Lubasch, New York Times, 30 Apr. 1987
Nobody ever came to the farm—through “the big gate,” a mile off on the pike—except kin and a family named Rawls: a widow with two daughters and a son, my only playmate. —Robert Penn Warren, Jefferson Davis Gets His Citizenship Back, 1980
It was quite an understood thing in the family that Lord Fawn must marry money. —Anthony Trollope, The Eustace Diamonds, 1871
There were a lot of families at the circus.
The show is fun for the whole family.
a death in the family
There are several doctors on his mother's side of the family.
She wants to spend more time with her family.
After his father's death he became the head of the family.
She's a friend of the family.
He spent a quiet evening at home with family.
trying to find a balance between work and family
He's devoted to his wife and family.
Origin of family
Middle English familie, from Latin familia household (including servants as well as kin of the householder), from famulus servant
First Known Use: 15th century
Simple Definition of family
: of or relating to a family
: designed or suitable for both children and adults
Full Definition of family
1 : of or relating to a family (see 1family)
2 : designed or suitable for both children and adults <family restaurants> <family movies>
FAMILY Defined for Kids
Definition of family for Students
1 : a social group made up of parents and their children
2 : a group of people who come from the same ancestor <You resemble your mother's side of the family.>
3 : a group of people living together : household
4 : a group of things sharing certain characteristics <a family of languages>
5 : a group of related living things (as plants or animals) that ranks above the genus and below the order in scientific classification <Domestic cats, lions, and tigers are some of the members of the cat family.>
Medical Definition of family
1: the basic unit in society traditionally consisting of two parents rearing their children; also : any of various social units differing from but regarded as equivalent to the traditional family <a single-parent family>
2: a group of related plants or animals forming a category ranking above a genus and below an order and usually comprising several to many genera
Legal Definition of family
1 : a group of individuals related by blood, marriage, or adoption
2 : a group of usu. related individuals who live together under common household authority and esp. who have reciprocal duties to each other
Additional Notes on family
The interpretation of the word family in a law context depends upon the area of the law concerned (as contract or zoning law), the purpose of the document (as a statute or contract) in which it is used, and the facts of the case. Often for zoning purposes, the occupants of a group home are considered a family if the organization is like that of a family or if the home is going to be a permanent rather than a transitional residence for the occupants.
Learn More about family
Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for "family" Medical Dictionary: Definition of "family" Spanish Central: Translation of "family" Nglish: Translation of "family" for Spanish speakers Britannica English: Translation of "family" for Arabic speakers Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about "family"
Seen and Heard
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