in family way


[fam-uh-lee, fam-lee]
noun, plural families.
a basic social unit consisting of parents and their children, considered as a group, whether dwelling together or not: the traditional family.
a social unit consisting of one or more adults together with the children they care for: a single-parent family.
the children of one person or one couple collectively: We want a large family.
the spouse and children of one person: We're taking the family on vacation next week.
any group of persons closely related by blood, as parents, children, uncles, aunts, and cousins: to marry into a socially prominent family.
all those persons considered as descendants of a common progenitor.
Chiefly British. approved lineage, especially noble, titled, famous, or wealthy ancestry: young men of family.
a group of persons who form a household under one head, including parents, children, and servants.
the staff, or body of assistants, of an official: the office family.
a group of related things or people: the family of romantic poets; the halogen family of elements.
a group of people who are generally not blood relations but who share common attitudes, interests, or goals and, frequently, live together: Many hippie communes of the sixties regarded themselves as families.
a group of products or product models made by the same manufacturer or producer.
Biology. the usual major subdivision of an order or suborder in the classification of plants, animals, fungi, etc., usually consisting of several genera.
Slang. a unit of the Mafia or Cosa Nostra operating in one area under a local leader.
Linguistics. the largest category into which languages related by common origin can be classified with certainty: Indo-European, Sino-Tibetan, and Austronesian are the most widely spoken families of languages. Compare stock ( def 12 ), subfamily ( def 2 ).
a given class of solutions of the same basic equation, differing from one another only by the different values assigned to the constants in the equation.
a class of functions or the like defined by an expression containing a parameter.
a set.
of, pertaining to, or characteristic of a family: a family trait.
belonging to or used by a family: a family automobile; a family room.
suitable or appropriate for adults and children: a family amusement park.
not containing obscene language: a family newspaper.
in a/the family way, pregnant.

1350–1400; Middle English familie < Latin familia a household, the slaves of a household, equivalent to famul(us) servant, slave + -ia -y3

antifamily, adjective
interfamily, adjective

See collective noun. Unabridged


1 [wey]
manner, mode, or fashion: a new way of looking at a matter; to reply in a polite way.
characteristic or habitual manner: Her way is to work quietly and never complain.
a method, plan, or means for attaining a goal: to find a way to reduce costs.
a respect or particular: The plan is defective in several ways.
a direction or vicinity: Look this way. We're having a drought out our way.
passage or progress on a course: to make one's way on foot; to lead the way.
Often, ways. distance: They've come a long way.
a path or course leading from one place to another: What's the shortest way to town?
an old Roman or pre-Roman road: Icknield Way.
a minor street in a town: He lives in Stepney Way.
a road, route, passage, or channel (usually used in combination): highway; waterway; doorway.
Law. a right of way.
any line of passage or travel, used or available: to blaze a way through dense woods.
space for passing or advancing: to clear a way through the crowd.
Often, ways. a habit or custom: The grandmother lived by the ways of the old country.
course or mode of procedure that one chooses or wills: They had to do it my way.
condition, as to health, prosperity, or the like: to be in a bad way.
range or extent of experience or notice: the best device that ever came in my way.
a course of life, action, or experience: The way of transgressors is hard.
Informal. business: to be in the haberdashery way.
ways, two or more ground ways down which a hull slides in being launched.
movement or passage through the water.
Machinery. a longitudinal strip, as in a planer, guiding a moving part along a surface.
by the way, in the course of one's remarks; incidentally: By the way, have you received that letter yet?
by way of,
by the route of; through; via.
as a method or means of: to number articles by way of distinguishing them.
British. in the state or position of (being, doing, etc.); ostensibly: He is by way of being an authority on the subject.
come one's way, to come to one; befall one: A bit of good fortune came my way.
give way,
to withdraw or retreat: The army gave way before the advance of the enemy.
to collapse; yield; break down: You will surely give way under the strain of overwork.
give way to,
to yield to: He gave way to their entreaties.
to become unrestrained or uninhibited; lose control of (one's temper, emotions, etc.): I gave way to my rage and ordered them from the house.
go all the way, Slang.
to do completely or wholeheartedly.
to take a decisive action, especially one from which no retreat is possible: Neither side wants to go all the way with nuclear warfare.
to engage in sexual intercourse.
go out of one's way, to do something that inconveniences one; make an unusual effort: Please don't go out of your way on my account.
have a way with, to have a charming, persuasive, or effective manner of dealing with: He has a way with children; to have a way with words.
have one's way with, (especially of a man) to have sexual intercourse with, sometimes by intimidating or forcing one's partner.
in a family way, pregnant.
in a way, after a fashion; to some extent: In a way, she's the nicest person I know.
in someone's way, forming a hindrance, impediment, or obstruction: She might have succeeded in her ambition, had not circumstances been in her way. Also, in the way.
lead the way,
to go along a course in advance of others, as a guide.
to take the initiative; be first or most prominent: In fashion she has always led the way.
make one's way,
to go forward; proceed: to make one's way through the mud.
to achieve recognition or success; advance: to make one's way in the world.
make way,
to allow to pass; clear the way: Make way for the king!
to relinquish to another; withdraw: He resigned to make way for a younger man.
Nautical. to make forward or astern progress even though engines are not running.
no way, Informal. not under any circumstances; no: Apologize to him? No way!
out of the way,
in a state or condition so as not to obstruct or hinder.
dealt with; disposed of: I feel better, now that one problem is out of the way.
murdered: to have a person put out of the way.
out of the frequented way; at a distance from the usual route.
improper; amiss: There was something decidedly out of the way about her explanation.
extraordinary; unusual: Such behavior was out of the way for him.
pave the way to/for. pave ( def 3 ).
see one's way clear, to regard as suitable or possible; consider seriously: We couldn't see our way clear to spending so much money at once. Also, see one's way.
take one's way, to start out; travel; go: He took his way across the park and headed uptown.

before 900; Middle English wei(gh)e, wai, Old English weg; cognate with Dutch, German Weg, Old Norse vegr, Gothic wigs; akin to Latin vehere to carry

wayless, adjective

3. scheme, device. See method. 4. detail, part. 7. space, interval. 10. track. 14. usage, practice, wont. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To in family way
World English Dictionary
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]

way (weɪ)
1.  a manner, method, or means: a way of life; a way of knowing
2.  a route or direction: the way home
3.  a.  a means or line of passage, such as a path or track
 b.  (in combination): waterway
4.  space or room for movement or activity (esp in the phrases make way, in the way, out of the way)
5.  distance, usually distance in general: you've come a long way
6.  a passage or journey: on the way
7.  characteristic style or manner: I did it in my own way
8.  (often plural) habits; idiosyncrasies: he has some offensive ways
9.  an aspect of something; particular: in many ways he was right
10.  a.  a street in or leading out of a town
 b.  (capital when part of a street name): Icknield Way
11.  something that one wants in a determined manner (esp in the phrases get or have one's (own) way)
12.  the experience or sphere in which one comes into contact with things (esp in the phrase come one's way)
13.  informal a state or condition, usually financial or concerning health (esp in the phrases in a good (or bad) way)
14.  informal the area or direction of one's home: drop in if you're ever over my way
15.  movement of a ship or other vessel
16.  a right of way in law
17.  a guide along which something can be moved, such as the surface of a lathe along which the tailstock slides
18.  (plural) the wooden or metal tracks down which a ship slides to be launched
19.  a course of life including experiences, conduct, etc: the way of sin
20.  archaic calling or trade
21.  (sentence modifier) by the way in passing or incidentally
22.  by way of
 a.  via
 b.  serving as: by way of introduction
 c.  in the state or condition of: by way of being an artist
23.  each way (of a bet) laid on a horse, dog, etc, to win or gain a place
24.  give way
 a.  to collapse or break down
 b.  to withdraw or yield
25.  give way to
 a.  to step aside for or stop for
 b.  to give full rein to (emotions, etc)
26.  go out of one's way to take considerable trouble or inconvenience oneself
27.  have a way with to have such a manner or skill as to handle successfully
28.  have it both ways to enjoy two things that would normally contradict each other or be mutually exclusive
29.  in a way in some respects
30.  in no way not at all
31.  lead the way
 a.  to go first
 b.  to set an example or precedent
32.  make one's way
 a.  to proceed or advance
 b.  to achieve success in life
33.  informal no way that is impossible
34.  informal on the way out
 a.  becoming unfashionable, obsolete, etc
 b.  dying
35.  out of the way
 a.  removed or dealt with so as to be no longer a hindrance
 b.  remote
 c.  unusual and sometimes improper
36.  pay one's way See pay
37.  see one's way, see one's way clear to find it possible and be willing (to do something)
38.  (Irish) the way so that: I left early the way I would avoid the traffic
39.  under way having started moving or making progress
40.  informal
 a.  at a considerable distance or extent: way over yonder
 b.  very far: they're way up the mountain
41.  informal by far; considerably: way better
42.  slang truly; genuinely: they have a way cool site
[Old English weg; related to Old Frisian wei, Old Norse vegr, Gothic wigs]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

c.1400, "servants of a household," from L. familia "household," including relatives and servants, from famulus "servant," of unknown origin. The classical L. sense recorded in Eng. from 1545; the main modern sense of "those connected by blood" (whether living together or not) is first attested 1667.
Replaced O.E. hiwscipe. Buzzword family values first recorded 1966. Phrase in a family way "pregnant" is from 1796. Family circle is 1809; family man, one devoted to wife and children, is 1856 (earlier it meant "thief," 1788, from family in slang sense of "the fraternity of thieves").

O.E. weg "road, path, course of travel," from P.Gmc. *wegaz (cf. O.S., Du. weg, O.N. vegr, O.Fris. wei, O.H.G. weg, Ger. Weg, Goth. wigs "way"), from PIE *wegh- "to move" (see weigh). Most of the extended senses developed in M.E. Adj. meaning "very, extremely" is early 1980s,
perhaps from phrase all the way. Wayfaring is O.E. wegfarende; Ways and means "resources at a person's disposal" is attested from c.1430. Way-out (adj.) "original, bold," is jazz slang, first recorded 1940s.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

family fam·i·ly (fām'ə-lē, fām'lē)

  1. A group of blood relatives, especially parents and their children.

  2. A taxonomic category of related organisms ranking below an order and above a genus.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
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.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary

family definition

In biology, the classification lower than an order and higher than a genus. Lions, tigers, cheetahs, and house cats belong to the same biological family. Human beings belong to the biological family of hominids. (See Linnean classification.)

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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