(1)   Primary social group; parents and children
"He wanted to have a good job before starting a family"
(2)   People descended from a common ancestor
"His family has lived in Massachusetts since the Mayflower"
(3)   A collection of things sharing a common attribute
"There are two classes of detergents"
(4)   A social unit living together
"He moved his family to Virginia"
"It was a good Christian household"
"I waited until the whole house was asleep"
"The teacher asked how many people made up his home"
(5)   (biology) a taxonomic group containing one or more genera
"Sharks belong to the fish family"
(6)   An association of people who share common beliefs or activities
"The message was addressed not just to employees but to every member of the company family"
"The church welcomed new members into its fellowship"
(7)   A loose affiliation of gangsters in charge of organized criminal activities
(8)   A person having kinship with another or others
"He's kin"
"He's family"



  1. A father, mother and their sons and daughters; also called nuclear family.
    Her nuclear family was very small.
  2. A group of people related by blood, marriage, law, or custom.
  3. A kin, tribe; also called extended family.
  4. A rank in the classification of organisms, below order and above genus; a taxon at that rank.
    Magnolias belong to the family Magnoliaceae.
  5. A group of people who live together.
    This is my fraternity family at the university.
  6. A group of people similar to related by blood, marriage, law, or custom.
    Our company is one big happy family.
  7. Collectively, people who are members of one's intimate social group.
    They treated me like family.
  8. Any group or aggregation of things classed together as kindred or related from possessing in common characteristics which distinguish them from other things of the same order.
  9. A group of instrument having the same basic method of tone production.
    the brass family
    the violin family
  10. A group of languages believed to have descended from the same ancestral language.
    the Indo-European language family
    the Afro-Asiatic language family


  1. Related to the family.
    The dog was kept as a family pet.
    For Apocynaceae, this type of flower is a family characteristic.
  2. Suitable for children and adults.
    It's not good for a date, it's a family restaurant.
    Some animated movies are not just for kids, they are family movies.
  3. Conservative, traditonal.
    The cultural struggle is for the survival of family values against all manner of atheistic amorality.
  4. Homosexual.
    I knew he was family when I first met him.

Related terms