Meaning of FAMILY in English
fam ‧ i ‧ ly S1 W1 /ˈfæm ə li/ BrE AmE noun ( plural families )
[ Word Family: noun : ↑ familiarity ≠ ↑ unfamiliarity , ↑ family , ↑ familiarization ; adjective : ↑ familiar ≠ ↑ unfamiliar , ↑ familial ; verb : ↑ familiarize ; adverb : ↑ familiarly ]
[ Date: 1400-1500 ; Origin: familia 'people living in a house' , from famulus 'servant' ]
1 . CLOSELY RELATED GROUP [countable] a group of people who are related to each other, especially a mother, a father, and their children:
Do you know the family next door?
The Webb family still has its farm over there.
[also + plural verb] British English :
The family now live in London.
This house isn’t big enough for a family of seven.
2 . ALL YOUR RELATIONS [C,U also + plural verb BrE] all the people you are related to, including those who are now dead:
I’m moving to Detroit because I have some family there.
My family come from Scotland originally.
in sb’s family
That painting has been in our family (=been owned by our family) for 200 years.
Asthma runs in the family (=is common in the family) .
3 . CHILDREN [countable] children:
Couples with young families wouldn’t want to live here.
They’re getting married next year, and hope to start a family (=have children) straight away.
bring up/raise a family
the problems of bringing up a family on a very low income
4 . family size/pack etc a container or package containing a large amount of a product
5 . GROUP OF ANIMALS/THINGS [countable] technical a group of related animals, plants, languages etc
the cat/parrot/squirrel etc family
The cat family includes lions and tigers.
Spanish and Italian are part of the Romance language family.
6 . she’s/he’s family informal used to emphasize your connection with someone who is related to you
7 . in the family way old-fashioned ↑ pregnant
• • •
COLLOCATIONS (for Meanings 1 & 2)
▪ the whole family
We invited the whole family round.
▪ all the family
This is a game which all the family can enjoy.
▪ somebody's immediate family (=closest relations)
What if one of your immediate family were disabled?
▪ somebody's extended family (=including not only parents and children, but also grandparents, aunts etc)
She gets a lot of help from her extended family.
▪ a large/small family
She came from a large family of seven children.
▪ a one-parent/single-parent family
One in seven families is a one-parent family.
▪ the nuclear family (=a family consisting of a mother, a father, and their children)
Not everyone lives in a typical nuclear family.
▪ close/close-knit family (=spending a lot of time together and supporting each other)
Laura's family are very close.
▪ the Royal family (=the king or queen and their family)
The Royal Family have large estates in Scotland.
▪ the Smith/Jones/Brown etc family
The Smith family are living in temporary accommodation.
■ family + NOUN
▪ a family member/a member of the family
The event was attended by many of his family members, including his children and grandchildren.
▪ somebody's family background
He comes from a stable family background.
▪ a family history
Is there a family history of heart disease?
▪ family life
Some people believe that television is destroying family life.
▪ a family unit
the breakup of the traditional family unit
▪ somebody's family home (=where someone's family live and where they lived as a child)
Her family home is in a village outside Derry.
▪ a family business (=one run by members of a family)
My parents expected me to join the family business.
▪ a family car (=one designed for families with children)
It's a practical family car that is also fun to drive.
▪ a family holiday British English , a family vacation AmE:
Most of our family holidays were spent in the south of France.
▪ a family resemblance (=when members of the same family look like each other)
There's a strong family resemblance between all the sisters.
■ COMMON ERRORS
► Do not say 'my family is five' , 'my family is five members/people' , or 'my family is of five members/people' . Say there are five people in my family .
Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English. Longman - Словарь современного английского языка. 2012