fa·mil·ial | \fə-ˈmil-yəl, -ˈmi-lē-əl\

Definition of familial 

1 : tending to occur in more members of a family than expected by chance alone a familial disorder

2 : of, relating to, or suggestive of a family has familial ties to the area a familial atmosphere

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Synonyms & Antonyms for familial


domestic, household


nondomestic, nonfamilial

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Examples of familial in a Sentence

The company has created a familial atmosphere in its offices. it's a familial duty as well as a tradition for everyone in my family to eat dinner together

Recent Examples on the Web

Instead, they are slowly groomed by parents or other older relatives, culminating in eventual acceptance into the movement by virtue of their familial legacy. Julie Chernov Hwang, Washington Post, "New research shows why terrorists quit terrorism," 12 July 2018 The department cited struggles verifying familial relationships and locating adults. Sadie Gurman, WSJ, "Judge Blocks Effort to Detain Immigrant Families Together," 9 July 2018 His ability to weave what reads as a simple tale from such complex historical and familial storylines is impressive. Mary Cadden, USA TODAY, "Empress Maria heads juicy Russian cast in historical novel about the Romanovs," 12 July 2018 Cancer is also connected to maternal and familial matters, so this new moon could be a great time to call your mom or any other important caregiver in your life. refinery29.com, "This Month’s New Moon Will Have All Of Us In Our Feelings," 9 July 2018 People of Mexican origin account for more than 60 percent of the Latino population in the United States, and Telemundo is banking that many will prefer to watch the team in Spanish for cultural or familial reasons. James Wagner, New York Times, "Telemundo Has a Big Goal: Win the World Cup," 23 June 2018 Children and adolescents are subject to a myriad competing impulses – hormonal, social, familial, psychological – and some early identities wax or wane away as maturity arrives. Andrew Sullivan, Daily Intelligencer, "If We Want to End the Border Crisis, It’s Time to Give Trump His Wall," 22 June 2018 For all the talk of Russian collusion, the then-candidate may have been too engrossed in the Fox News programming of the day to be aware of whatever shady business in which his associates, familial and otherwise, were engaged. Jay Willis, GQ, "Donald Trump Jr.’s Explanations for the Trump Tower Russia Meeting Don't Add Up," 16 May 2018 This common ground was and is important to me in understanding that Christianity is not a cultural or familial tag. Destiny Onu, Teen Vogue, "Why I Believe in God," 30 Mar. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'familial.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of familial

1843, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for familial

French, from Latin familia

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Statistics for familial

Last Updated

9 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for familial

The first known use of familial was in 1843

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More Definitions for familial



English Language Learners Definition of familial

: of or relating to a family : suggesting a family

medical : tending to affect members of the same family


fa·mil·ial | \fə-ˈmil-yəl \

Kids Definition of familial

: relating to or typical of a family


fa·mil·ial | \fə-ˈmil-yəl \

Medical Definition of familial 

: tending to occur in more members of a family than expected by chance alone a familial disorder — compare acquired sense 1, congenital sense 2, hereditary

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Comments on familial

What made you want to look up familial? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


lying above or upon

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