superfamily

noun

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

Example Sentences

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, latimes.com, 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, 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.

Word History

First Known Use

1872, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of superfamily was in 1872

Dictionary Entries Near superfamily

Cite this Entry

“Superfamily.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/superfamily. Accessed 1 Dec. 2022.

Medical Definition

superfamily

noun

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