Definition of family noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//ˈfæməli//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈfæməli//
    (pl. families) Groups of animals, Raising children, Family background
    jump to other results
  1. 1  [countable + singular or plural verb] a group consisting of one or two parents and their children the other members of my family Almost every family in the country owns a television. All my family enjoy skiing. one-parent/single-parent families a family of four families with young children He’s a friend of the family (= he is known and liked by the parents and the children). see also blended family, nuclear family Wordfinderadopt, child, family, generation, heir, in-laws, parent, relation, stepfamily, surrogate mother See related entries: Raising children, Family background
  2. 2  [countable + singular or plural verb, uncountable] a group consisting of one or two parents, their children and close relations All our family came to Grandad's eightieth birthday party. The support of family and friends is vital. We've only told the immediate family (= the closest relations). the Royal Family (= the children and close relations of the king or queen) I always think of you as one of the family. (informal) She's family (= she is a relation). see also extended family See related entries: Family background
  3. 3  [countable + singular or plural verb] all the people who are related to each other, including those who are now dead Some families have farmed in this area for hundreds of years. This painting has been in our family for generations. See related entries: Family background
  4. 4  [countable + singular or plural verb, uncountable] a couple’s or a person’s children, especially young children They have a large family. I addressed it to Mr and Mrs Jones and family. Do they plan to start a family (= have children)? to bring up/raise a family CollocationsChildrenHaving a baby/​child want a baby/​a child/​kids start a family conceive/​be expecting/​be going to have a baby/​child miss your period become/​get/​be/​find out that you are pregnant have a baby/​a child/​kids/​a son/​a daughter/​twins/​a family have a normal/​a difficult/​an unwanted pregnancy; an easy/​a difficult/​a home birth be in/​go into/​induce labour (especially US English) labor have/​suffer/​cause a miscarriage give birth to a child/​baby/​daughter/​son/​twinsParenting bring up/ (especially North American English) raise a child/​family care for/ (especially British English) look after a baby/​child/​kid change (British English) a nappy/(North American English) a diaper/​a baby feed/​breastfeed/​bottle-feed a baby be entitled to/​go on maternity/​paternity leave go back/​return to work after maternity leave need/​find/​get a babysitter/​good quality affordable childcare balance/​combine work and childcare/​child-rearing/​family life educate/​teach/​home-school a child/​kid punish/​discipline/​spoil a child/​kid adopt a baby/​child/​kid offer a baby for/​put a baby up for adoption (especially British English) foster a child/​kid be placed with/​be raised by foster parents
  5. 5   [countable] a group of related animals and plants; a group of related things, especially languages Lions belong to the cat family. the Germanic family of languages See related entries: Groups of animals
  6. Word Originlate Middle English (in sense (3); also denoting the servants of a household or the retinue of a nobleman): from Latin familia ‘household servants, family’, from famulus ‘servant’.Extra examples Average family size has decreased since the Victorian era. Do you know anything about her family background? He belonged to an aristocratic family. I always wanted to have a large family. In 1941 he carried on the family tradition and enlisted in the army. It is difficult for them to earn enough to feed their families. It was difficult to maintain contact with members of his extended family. It’s a struggle to bring up a family on a low income. Many of our students come from poor families. She grew up in a military family. She married into a wealthy family. The job wouldn’t really fit in with my family commitments. The movie is a portrait of a dysfunctional family. These problems occur in all families. They got married last year and plan to start a family soon. They got married last year and plan to start a family= have children soon. They help find emotionally damaged children placements with adoptive families. They prefer to stay in their home country because of family ties. We all knew her so well that we felt she was almost part of the family. We are a very close-knit family and support each other through any crises. We’ve only told the immediate family. a counselling agency to help bereaved families a family history of heart disease a good family man, completely devoted to his wife and kids a helpline set up to counsel bereaved families a medical condition which runs in the family a summer movie for the whole family creating conflict within the family issues which create conflict within the family maintaining contact with members of his extended family parents with young families struggling to bring up a family on a low income tax incentives for low-income families the difficulties faced by one-parent families the nuclear family of parents and children the rights of all members of the human family All our family came to Grandad’s eightieth birthday party. He’s a friend of the family. How far back can you trace your family tree? I always think of you as one of the family. Not everybody lives in the conventional nuclear family. She grew up surrounded by a large extended family. She’s family. a family business/​carIdioms
    (be/get) in the family way
    jump to other results
    (old-fashioned, informal) (to be/become) pregnant
    to be a common feature in a particular family Heart disease runs in the family.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: family