nuclear family


: a family group that consists only of parents and children

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Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web Serpell discloses the dynamics of this once nuclear family by means of fission. Lauren Michele Jackson, The New Yorker, 12 Sep. 2022 The chess player in my nuclear family is my father, William, who isn’t related to Harold by blood at all. Rachel Syme, The New Yorker, 13 July 2022 Last May, her older brother Pervis Staples died, making Mavis the last surviving member of her nuclear family. Jonathan Bernstein, Rolling Stone, 19 May 2022 Aside from the glaring fact that this scheme only works for nuclear family households, the scheme is still deeply flawed. Pema Bakshi,, 29 Mar. 2022 However, Jen's husband, Kevin, is perplexed by navigating loyalty to his profession, family, and the nuclear family. Simone E. Morris, Forbes, 1 June 2022 An early cluster of monkeypox cases in London was among a nuclear family who lived in the same household. Sony Salzman, ABC News, 24 May 2022 Protecting his father’s ranch has put Kayce’s own nuclear family in harm’s way. Brian Davids, The Hollywood Reporter, 22 Apr. 2022 My own nuclear family has also been expunged, a relief after years of disapproval. Longreads, 20 Apr. 2022 See More

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

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Word History

First Known Use

1924, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of nuclear family was in 1924

Dictionary Entries Near nuclear family

Cite this Entry

“Nuclear family.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 7 Oct. 2022.

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Medical Definition

nuclear family


: a family group that consists only of father, mother, and children see extended family

More from Merriam-Webster on nuclear family

Last Updated: 6 Oct 2022

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