- family [fam′ə lē, fam′lē]n.pl. families [ME familie < L familia, household establishment, akin to famulus, servant < ? IE * dhe-mo-, house (< base * dhē-: see DO1) > Sans dhāman, household]1. Obs. all the people living in the same house; household: see also EXTENDED FAMILY2.a) a social unit consisting of parents and the children they rear: see also NUCLEAR FAMILYb) the children of the same parentsc) one's husband (or wife) and children3. a group of people related by ancestry or marriage; relatives4. all those claiming descent from a common ancestor; tribe or clan; lineage5. a criminal syndicate under a single leader [a Mafia family]6. a COMMUNE2 (sense 5) living in one household, esp. under one head7. a group of things having a common source or similar features; specif.,a) Biol. a major category in the classification of animals, plants, etc., ranking above a genus and below an order: it can include one genus or many similar genera: the Latinized family names are capitalized but not italicized (Ex.: Felidae, cats)b) Chem. a group of chemical elements having similar properties, forming one of the vertical columns of the periodic tablec) Ecol. a community composed of organisms of the same speciesd) Linguis. a parent language and all the languages and dialects descended from ite) Math. a set of curves, functions, or other entities with some shared propertyadj.1. of or for a family [a family picnic, the family car]2. characteristic of or suitable for a family, esp. one regarded as traditional or typical; wholesome, middle-class, etc. [family entertainment, family values]——————in a family wayInformal pregnant; with child
English World dictionary. V. Neufeldt. 2014.