• WordNet 3.6
    • n family primary social group; parents and children "he wanted to have a good job before starting a family"
    • n family people descended from a common ancestor "his family has lived in Massachusetts since the Mayflower"
    • n family a collection of things sharing a common attribute "there are two classes of detergents"
    • n family 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"
    • n family (biology) a taxonomic group containing one or more genera "sharks belong to the fish family"
    • n family 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"
    • n family a loose affiliation of gangsters in charge of organized criminal activities
    • n family a person having kinship with another or others "he's kin","he's family"
    • ***

Additional illustrations & photos:

"Mrs. Baboon and her family escaped unhurt." "Mrs. Baboon and her family escaped unhurt."
The family with whom I lived in Soissons The family with whom I lived in Soissons
French dogs loaned by private families French dogs loaned by private families
All the Same Family All the Same Family
Isn't Money Enough in the Whole Family to Wad a Gun 131 Isn't Money Enough in the Whole Family to Wad a Gun 131
No. 141, Bayham Street, Camden Town, where the Dickens Family lived in 1823 No. 141, Bayham Street, Camden Town, where the Dickens Family lived in 1823
No. 11, Ordnance Terrace, Chatham. Where the Dickens Family lived 1817-21 No. 11, Ordnance Terrace, Chatham. Where the Dickens Family lived 1817-21

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: Strawberries are a member of the rose family
    • Family A group of kindred or closely related individuals; as, a family of languages; a family of States; the chlorine family.
    • Family (Biol) A group of organisms, either animal or vegetable, related by certain points of resemblance in structure or development, more comprehensive than a genus, because it is usually based on fewer or less pronounced points of likeness. In zoölogy a family is less comprehesive than an order; in botany it is often considered the same thing as an order.
    • Family Course of descent; genealogy; line of ancestors; lineage.
    • Family Honorable descent; noble or respectable stock; as, a man of family .
    • Family The collective body of persons who live in one house, and under one head or manager; a household, including parents, children, and servants, and, as the case may be, lodgers or boarders.
    • Family The group comprising a husband and wife and their dependent children, constituting a fundamental unit in the organization of society. "The welfare of the family underlies the welfare of society."
    • Family Those who descend from one common progenitor; a tribe, clan, or race; kindred; house; as, the human family; the family of Abraham; the father of a family. "Go ! and pretend your family is young."
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
  • Interesting fact: Only 23% of New Zealand families have more than two children
    • n family The collective body of persons who form one household under one head and one domestic government, including parents, children, and servants, and as sometimes used even lodgers or boarders. In law husband and wife living together, and having no children, are sometimes deemed within the benefit of a statute as to families.
    • n family Parents with their children, whether they dwell together or not; in a more general sense, any group of persons closely related by blood, as parents, children, uncles, aunts, and cousins: often used in a restricted sense only of a group of parents and children founded upon the principle of monogamy.
    • n family In a narrow use, the children of the same parents, considered collectively apart from the parents: as, they (a husband and wife) have a large family to care for; a family of children.
    • n family In the most general sense, those who descend from a common progenitor; a tribe or race; kindred; lineage. Thus, the Israelites were a branch of the family of Abraham; the whole human race constitutes the human family.
    • n family Hence 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. Thus, a body of languages regarded as representatives of a common ancestor, or as having come by gradual processes of alteration and divarication from the same original tongue, is called a family: as, the Indo-European family; the South African family.
    • n family Specifically In scientific classifications, a group of individuals more comprehensive than a genus and less so than an order, based on fewer or less definite points of physical resemblance than the former, and on more or more definite ones than the latter. In zoölogy the name of a family now almost invariably ends in -idæ, which has the force of a patronymic. The prime divisions of a family are termed subfamilies, and end usually in -inæ. The prime associations of families are in some refinements of classification called superfamilies; there is no obvious distinction, however, between these and suborders. The recognition and definition of the family, as of other zoölogical groups, is entirely a matter of expert opinion, having no natural necessity for being; hence the wide difference among zoologists in their evaluation of the term. A modern family is usually less comprehensive than a genus as used in the last century. The use of the regular termination -idæ has done much to fix the valuation of the family more stably than that of either the genus or the order. Zoological families are considered as being approximately of the same grade in classification as the groups called orders in botany. Hence the word family is generally used by botanists as a synonym of order: as, order Ranunculaceœ, the crowfoot family. In cryptogamic botany the family is the prime division of the order or suborder, and the prime division of the family is the subfamily or tribe; but in some classifications the family is made to rank next below the tribe. The absolute rank of the family also varies with different authors, the family of one being the order of another, etc. The usual termination is -eæ (or-ei), but -aceæ (or -acei) is used as a family termination in some cases. See classification.
    • n family Course of descent; genealogy.
    • n family Descent: especially, noble or respectable stock: as, a man of good family.
    • n family A cluster of microscopic plants formed by the adherence of a number of individuals; a colony.
    • family Pertaining to or connected with the family.
    • n family In petrography the term is used by Rosenbusch to embrace igneous rocks which are alike in composition and texture: as, the family of syenitic rocks; the family of essexite; the family of phonolitic rocks. In the quantitative system of classification (1902) it is suggested that the term be applied to a group of igneous rocks which are developed from the same parent magma by processes of differentiation — that is, any group of consanguineous rocks.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: The largest member of the dolphin family are orcas
    • n Family fam′i-li the household, or all those who live in one house under one head, including parents, children, servants: the children of a person: the descendants of one common progenitor: race: honourable or noble descent: a group of animals, plants, languages, &c. more comprehensive than a genus
    • ***


  • Michel Eyquem De Montaigne
    “There is little less trouble in governing a private family than a whole kingdom.”
  • Chinese Proverb
    Chinese Proverb
    “Man is the head of the family, woman the neck that turns the head.”
  • English Proverb
    English Proverb
    “A small family is soon provided for.”
  • George Santayana
    “The family is one of nature's masterpieces.”
  • Count Leo Tolstoy
    “All happy families resemble one another; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.”
  • Isidore Ducasse Lautreamont
    Isidore Ducasse Lautreamont
    “The great universal family of men is a utopia worthy of the most mediocre logic.”


Benjamin of the family - The Benjamin of the family is the youngest child.
In the family way - If a woman is in the family way, she is pregnant.
Rich man's family - A rich man's family consists of one son and one daughter.
Runs in the family - If a characteristic runs in the family, it can clearly be seen members of different generations. A hereditary illness that is passed from one generation to the next also runs in the family.
You can choose your friends, but you can't choose your family - Some things you can choose, but others you cannot, so you have to try to make the best of what you have where you have no choice.


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
L. familia, fr. famulus, servant; akin to Oscan famel, servant, cf. faamat, he dwells, Skr. dhāman, house, fr. dhā,to set, make, do: cf. F. famille,. Cf. Do (v. t.) Doom Fact Feat
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
L. familiafamulus, a servant.


In literature:

A great many families lose their household goods.
"The Johnstown Horror" by James Herbert Walker
There they reared a large family.
"A Portrait of Old George Town" by Grace Dunlop Ecker
Amzi II had left a family of five children, of whom Phil Kirkwood's three aunts have already been mentioned.
"Otherwise Phyllis" by Meredith Nicholson
No peace of families is violated, for no family ties exist among them.
"Critical and Historical Essays, Volume III (of 3)" by Thomas Babington Macaulay
Hampton has always been governed and controlled by white people, and its teachers have come from the best families of the North.
"Tuskegee & Its People: Their Ideals and Achievements" by Various
The Akin, Taber, Briggs families came from Dartmouth, which was in a region of both temporary and permanent Quaker settlement.
"Quaker Hill" by Warren H. Wilson
It made home seclusion and family fellowship easy and gave the family group a sense of responsibility for its place of living.
"Rural Problems of Today" by Ernest R. Groves
Speaking of the Frelinghuysen family, I recall an amusing story told at the expense of Newark, New Jersey.
"As I Remember" by Marian Gouverneur
The old butler himself was one of the heirlooms of the family, and partook to the full of the air of antiquity which pervaded the place.
"The Cryptogram" by James De Mille
The evolutionary theory of the family has, however, furnished a somewhat detached point of view for the criticism of the modern family.
"Introduction to the Science of Sociology" by Robert E. Park
There are powerful Ghibellino families here who will protect us if need be.
"The Saracen: Land of the Infidel" by Robert Shea
A lady, without a family, was the very best preserver of furniture in the world.
"The Complete Project Gutenberg Works of Jane Austen" by Jane Austen
I never could see that family worship amounted to much more in most families.
"Household Papers and Stories" by Harriet Beecher Stowe
Charles de Menou, Seigneur d'Aulnay Charnisay, came of a distinguished family of Touraine.
"Glimpses of the Past" by W. O. Raymond
The family group includes many allied families, who live together in large communal houses and possess everything in common.
"The Position of Woman in Primitive Society" by C. Gasquoine Hartley
I recommend it for the family orchard only.
"The Apple" by Various
I had such a terrible dream about all the family last night.
"Uncle Daniel's Story Of "Tom" Anderson And Twenty Great Battles" by John McElroy
A Milanese of noble family.
"A Biographical Dictionary of Freethinkers of All Ages and Nations" by Joseph Mazzini Wheeler
He liked to work, but to work for himself, for his own family.
"The Lost Wagon" by James Arthur Kjelgaard
Soon another family came, old friends of my mother's, a Mr. and Mrs. Courchane.
"A Child of the Sea; and Life Among the Mormons" by Elizabeth Whitney Williams

In poetry:

Thine ancient family, the Jews,
Were first invited to the feast:
We humbly take what they refuse,
And Gentiles thy salvation taste.
"Hymn 12" by Isaac Watts
A norrible tale I'm going to tell
Of the woeful tragedy which befell
A family that once resided
In the very same thoroughfare as I did;
"A Norrible Tale" by Anonymous British
Leave it not, in the church, behind
With him, who did the subject treat —
But bear it homewards in thy mind,
And to thy family repeat.
"Advice To Hear, And To Read, The Word Of God" by Rees Prichard
With bended flowers the angels mark
For the skylark the place they lie,
From there its little family
Shall dip their wings first in the sky.
"Lament for the Poets: 1916" by Francis Ledwidge
Millions of daughters walk in the mud
Millions of children wash in the flood
A Million girls vomit & groan
Millions of families hopeless alone
"September On Jessore Road" by Allen Ginsberg
'He's of our race's elder branch,
His family-arms the same as ours.
Both born the twy-forked flame to launch,
Of kindred, if unequal, powers.'
"The Lesson" by James Russell Lowell

In news:

A study by UCLA's Center on Everyday Lives of Families looked at how 32 middle-class families in Los Angeles lived in their homes.
They are looking for the person who hid a digital video camera in a family changing rooms at Family FunPlex, a city-run recreation center.
He stayed with a family by the last name of van Kan, a family that included two daughters.
The Pentecost family is very grateful and overwhelmed by the outpouring of support by family, friends and the community.
Pete Seeger , the American folk singer, talks to TV host Stephen Colbert about two forthcoming albums, inspiring one mother to reminisce on his work and how it continues to unite her family and, she hopes, the American family.
You can ask your family doctor for a recommendation or inquire about podiatrists who have helped friends or family members.
A heartbroken family said goodbye Thursday to four family members killed in their Oakhurst home Sunday.
family takes care of family, and never forget that.
The hunger center packed food for 67 families on this day -- just shy of its all-time record of 68 families in one session.
For my family and me, going to the doctor is just another family outing.
Optometrist Moshe Roth's Family Eye Care in Old Bridge, N.J. Is largely a family practice.
"Lo," as her family and friends affectionately call her, had just landed with a girlfriend after viewing Christmas lights from above in a small prop plane piloted by a family friend.
She is one of South Africa's 12,000 social work ers, a front-line soldier in a battle to hold her country together, one family at a time, several families a day, ensuring that abused, neglected, or orphaned children have a home.
We love to make this a family affair making the costume involves the whole family working as a team.
As I looked through my grandmother's family Bible, I saw where our family was kin to many famous pioneers.

In science:

For the analysis of the moduli space of surfaces, the question remains, whether a family X → T of fibred surfaces in Sg ,b(T ) is, what we call a fibred family of surfaces, that is if there is a family of curves B → T such that X → B → T induces the fibrations of type (g , b).
Maximally irregularly fibred surfaces of general type
We now give a sufficient condition for families of irregularly fibred surfaces to be fibred in families and a numerical criterion for testing the condition.
Maximally irregularly fibred surfaces of general type
Lemma 4.5. A family of fibred surfaces in Sm.i. g ,b (T ) with g = 2 or g = 3, which is not isotrivial, has at most one fibration and is hence a fibred family.
Maximally irregularly fibred surfaces of general type
Dividing out the Γ(d)-action on the family J (z , Z ) → H×Hg−1 constructed in Section 2 (there with fixed Z ), we obtain a family of principally polarised abelian varieties over X ′ (d) × Hg−1 .
Maximally irregularly fibred surfaces of general type
Proof: Recall that by Lemma 4.5 each family of surfaces X → T in question is a fibred family X → B → T .
Maximally irregularly fibred surfaces of general type
But it does mean that the family GW invariants, which a priori are counts of maps which are holomorphic with respect to families of almost complex structures on X , are in fact calculable from the complex geometry of (X, J ) alone.
Family Gromov-Witten Invariants for Kahler Surfaces
That leads us to consider the family of (J, α)-holomorphic maps in which α is the real part of holomorphic 2-form; the corresponding family moduli space should be an analytic version of the Severi variety.
Family Gromov-Witten Invariants for Kahler Surfaces
Bryan and Leung have applied the machinery of Li and Tian to define family GW invariants associated to the Twistor Family T [BL1, BL2].
Family Gromov-Witten Invariants for Kahler Surfaces
The family {Aω }ω of Proposition 3.4 is a measurable family of operators.
Integrated density of states for random metrics on manifolds
The null families form a differential ideal in the collection of moderate families.
Elliptic regularity and solvability for partial differential equations with Colombeau coefficients
In this case, near such a point, the singularity theory of family of solutions of an implicit system is reduced to the well known theory of family of the phase curves for the generic smooth vector fields on n-dimensional manifolds .
Generic singularities of implicit systems of first order differential equations on the plane
In this case the generating family is naturally constructed by a one-parameter family of generating families associated with (µ, ℓ).
Generic singularities of implicit systems of first order differential equations on the plane
Such a family will be called a trivializing family.
Geometric structures on fields
We will say that C is a locally simply connected topos C if for each topological covering family (Xi )i∈I of C , there exists a sub family (Yj )j∈J such that Yj is simply connected.
Geometric structures on fields
To each (C, G) topos defined by the covering family (Xi )i∈I , we can associate the (C ′ , G′ ) topos defined by the family ((Xi )i∈I , φ ◦ φi ).
Geometric structures on fields