Meaning of FAMILY in English


1. a group of people who are related to each other

2. things that happen in a family or belong in a family

3. someone who belongs to your family

4. to belong to the same family

5. people who are related to you because of marriage

6. people who were in the same family as you a long time ago


see also








1. a group of people who are related to each other

▷ family /ˈfæm ə li/ [countable noun]

a group of people who are related to each other, especially a mother, father, and their children all living together :

▪ He comes from a family of eight children.

▪ A lot of the families living in this area are very poor.

member of a family

▪ Pearl is the last surviving member of her family.

the Armstrong/Mitchell/Jones family

the family with this name

▪ Various members of the Kennedy family were at the funeral.

immediate family

your closest relatives

▪ Only her immediate family knew she had heart disease.

nuclear family

a family consisting of a mother, a father, and their children

▪ Having an intact nuclear family does not guarantee that a child will turn out well.

extended family

including cousins, grandparents etc

▪ My extended family usually gets together at holidays.

one-parent family/single-parent family

a family in which there is only one parent

▪ Single-parent families are much more common these days.

big/large/small family

▪ I grew up in a large family in the South.

▪ The cost of sending kids to college - even for a small family - is extremely high.

▷ parents /ˈpe ə rənts/ [plural noun]

someone’s mother and father :

▪ Do you get on well with your parents?

▪ Parents need to become more involved in their children’s school activities.

▷ folks /fəʊks/ [plural noun] informal

your family, especially your parents :

▪ She’s gone back home to see her folks.

▪ My folks were waiting for me at the station.

▷ background /ˈbækgraʊnd/ [countable noun]

the type of family and social class that you grew up in :

▪ Most of his friends were from similar middle-class backgrounds.

▪ In our class we have children of all different religious and ethnic backgrounds.

2. things that happen in a family or belong in a family

▷ family /ˈfæm ə li/ [adjective only before noun]

family home/business/argument etc

something that belongs to a family or happens in a family :

▪ I stopped going on family holidays when I was 15.

▪ When her parents died, she took over the family business.

▪ We’re planning a big family celebration when my cousin gets married.

▷ domestic /dəˈmestɪk/ [adjective only before noun]

domestic violence/trouble/argument etc

fighting, arguments, or problems between members of the same family :

▪ Victims of domestic violence are often reluctant to tell the police.

▪ I’m worried about Jim - I think he may be having some domestic problems.

▷ run in the family /ˌrʌn ɪn ðə ˈfæm ə li/ [verb phrase not in progressive]

if an illness or type of behaviour runs in the family, it is common in that family :

▪ Asthma seems to run in our family.

▪ Good looks must run in the family.

3. someone who belongs to your family

▷ relative/relation /ˈrelətɪv, rɪˈleɪʃ ə n/ [countable noun]

someone who is a member of your family although they do not live with you :

▪ Over a hundred friends and relatives came to the wedding.

relative/relation of

▪ Some relatives of the victims are planning to sue.

close relative/relation

someone who is closely related to you

▪ When he died, there were no children or close relatives to contact.

distant relative/relation

someone who is not closely related to you

▪ We have some distant relations in Australia that we’ve never met.

no relation to somebody

used to say someone is not related to someone else with the same name

▪ Marty Rogers (no relation to Governor Rogers) is one of the governor’s biggest critics.

▷ family member/member of the family /ˌfæm ə li ˈmembəʳ, ˌmembər əv ðə ˈfæm ə li/ [countable noun]

someone who is part of your family :

▪ Only close family members are allowed to visit her.

▪ Woods says she’s not sure if any of the members of her family have read the book.

▷ next of kin /ˌnekst əv ˈkɪn/ [noun phrase]

the person or people who are most closely related to you, for example your husband or mother, and who need to be told when you die or if you have a serious accident :

▪ The college need to know your next of kin in case something happens to you.

▪ The police will not release the dead man’s name until his next of kin have been informed.

4. to belong to the same family

▷ be related /biː rɪˈleɪtə̇d/ [verb phrase]

if two people are related, they are both members of the same family - use this about cousins, grandparents etc, but not about your parents or your brothers and sisters :

▪ ‘I didn’t know you and Ted were related.’ ‘Yes, Ted’s wife is my sister.’

be related to

▪ John told me he was related to Mel Gibson - is that true?

▷ be descended from /biː dɪˈsendə̇d frɒm/ [verb phrase]

to be related to someone who lived a long time ago, especially someone famous or important :

▪ She is descended from the Duke of Marlborough.

▪ Many of the plantation owners were descended from American missionaries.

5. people who are related to you because of marriage

▷ mother-in-law/son-in-law etc /ˈmʌðər ɪn ˌlɔː, ˈsʌn ɪn ˌlɔː/ [countable noun]

someone who is related to you because of a marriage, for example, your mother-in-law is the mother of your wife or husband, and your sister-in-law is the sister of your wife or husband, or the wife of your brother :

▪ Surprisingly, my mother-in-law and I get along very well.

▪ My sister and brother-in-law are coming to visit next week.

▷ stepmother/stepson/stepsister etc /ˈstepmʌðəʳ, ˈstepsʌn, ˈstepsɪstəʳ/ [countable noun]

someone who becomes your mother, sister, son etc when you or a person you are related to marries for a second time :

▪ After my mother got remarried, it took a while to get used to having a stepfather.

▪ She has two sisters and a stepbrother.

▷ half-brother/half-sister /ˈhɑːf brʌðəʳ, ˈhɑːf sɪstəʳ ǁ ˈhæf-/ [countable noun]

someone who is the child of one of your parents but not both of them :

▪ Alyssa has a half-brother she’s never met because her parents don’t speak to each other any more.

▷ by marriage /baɪ ˈmærɪdʒ/ [adverb]

if you are related to someone by marriage, they are married to someone in your family or you are married to someone in their family :

▪ John’s my cousin by marriage.

▷ in-laws /ˈɪn lɔːz/ [plural noun] informal

the parents of your husband or wife :

▪ We lived with my in-laws until we had enough money to buy a house of our own.

6. people who were in the same family as you a long time ago

▷ ancestor /ˈænsəstəʳ, -ses-ǁ-ses-/ [countable noun]

a member of your family who lived a long time ago, especially hundreds of years ago :

▪ My ancestors originally came from Ireland.

▪ During the festival of Obon, Japanese show respect to their dead ancestors.

▷ family /ˈfæm ə li/ [countable noun]

people that you are related to who lived a long time ago :

▪ Her family came to America from Scotland in about 1750.

▪ Our family has lived around here for hundreds of years.

▷ descendant /dɪˈsendənt/ [countable noun]

someone who is a relative of a person who lived and died a long time ago, especially a famous or important person :

▪ Frederick and Bertha moved to Iowa in 1852, and their descendants still live in the area.

descendant of

▪ Paul claims to be a descendant of King Charles I.

▷ forefathers /ˈfɔːʳˌfɑːðəʳz/ [plural noun]

people in your family who lived a long time ago :

▪ His forefathers helped settle this area a century and a half ago.

Longman Activator English vocab.      Английский словарь Longman активатор .