|family (ˈfæmɪlɪ, ˈfæmlɪ)|
|—n , pl -lies|
|1.||a. a primary social group consisting of parents and their offspring, the principal function of which is provision for its members|
|b. (as modifier): family quarrels; a family unit|
|2.||one's wife or husband and one's children|
|3.||one's children, as distinguished from one's husband or wife|
|4.||Compare extended family a group of persons related by blood; a group descended from a common ancestor|
|5.||all the persons living together in one household|
|6.||any group of related things or beings, esp when scientifically categorized|
|7.||biology any of the taxonomic groups into which an order is divided and which contains one or more genera. Felidae (cat family) and Canidae (dog family) are two families of the order Carnivora|
|8.||ecology a group of organisms of the same species living together in a community|
|9.||a group of historically related languages assumed to derive from one original language|
|10.||chiefly (US) an independent local group of the Mafia|
|11.||maths a group of curves or surfaces whose equations differ from a given equation only in the values assigned to one or more constants in each curve: a family of concentric circles|
|12.||physics the isotopes, collectively, that comprise a radioactive series|
|13.||informal in the family way pregnant|
|[C15: from Latin familia a household, servants of the house, from famulus servant]|
family fam·i·ly (fām'ə-lē, fām'lē)
A group of blood relatives, especially parents and their children.
A taxonomic category of related organisms ranking below an order and above a genus.
|family (fām'ə-lē) Pronunciation Key
A group of organisms ranking above a genus and below an order. The names of families end in -ae, a plural ending in Latin. In the animal kingdom, family names end in -idae, as in Canidae (dogs and their kin), while those in the plant kingdom usually end in -aceae, as in Rosaceae (roses and their kin). See Table at taxonomy.