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extended family

noun
1.
a kinship group consisting of a family nucleus and various relatives, as grandparents, usually living in one household and functioning as a larger unit.
Compare nuclear family.
2.
(loosely) one's family conceived of as including aunts, uncles, cousins, in-laws, and sometimes close friends and colleagues.
Origin
1940-1945
1940-45
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for extended-family

extended family

noun
1.
(sociol, anthropol) a social unit that contains the nuclear family together with blood relatives, often spanning three or more generations
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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extended-family in Culture

extended family definition


A type of family in which relatives in addition to parents and children (such as grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins) live in a single household. A nuclear family forms the core of an extended family.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Encyclopedia Article for extended-family

extended family

an expansion of the nuclear family (parents and dependent children), usually built around a unilineal descent group (i.e., a group in which descent through either the female or the male line is emphasized). The extended family system often, but not exclusively, occurs in regions in which economic conditions make it difficult for the nuclear family to achieve self-sufficiency. Cooperation being necessary, aid is recruited, usually either from the patrilineal kin or the matrilineal kin. In traditional China, for example, the extended family ideally consisted of the nuclear family of the head of the household, his unmarried daughters, his sons and their families, his sons' sons' families and unmarried daughters, and so forth. The extended family may include more distant kin, but the uncles, aunts, or cousins usually belong to the same clan as members of the core lineage.

Learn more about extended family with a free trial on Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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