su·​per·​fam·​i·​ly | \ ˈsü-pər-ˌfam-lē How to pronounce superfamily (audio) , -ˈfa-mə- \

Definition of superfamily

1 : a category of biological classification ranking below an order and above a family
2 : a large group of closely related molecules or chemical compounds usually possessing a similar function

Examples of superfamily in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Wood’s fascination with pelican spiders (and the four other members of the superfamily Palpimanoidea) goes back 10 years. Sean Greene,, "A spider that hunts other spiders: 18 new species of this bizarre Madagascar arachnid are unveiled," 26 Jan. 2018 Some researchers, including Pagel, believe that the world’s languages are united by even older superfamilies, but this view is hotly contested. Elizabeth Norton, WIRED, "English May Have Retained Words From an Ice Age Language," 7 May 2013

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

First Known Use of superfamily

1872, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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The first known use of superfamily was in 1872

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Cite this Entry

“Superfamily.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Sep. 2020.

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More Definitions for superfamily


su·​per·​fam·​i·​ly | \ ˈsü-pər-ˌfam-(ə-)lē How to pronounce superfamily (audio) \
plural superfamilies

Medical Definition of superfamily

1 : a category of taxonomic classification between a family and an order or a suborder
2 : a large group of closely related molecules or chemical compounds usually possessing a similar function

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