/ ˈfæməli; NAmE / noun , adjective
■ noun ( pl. -ies )
[ C +sing./pl. v . ] 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
—see also blended family , nuclear family
[ C +sing./pl. v . , U ] 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
[ C +sing./pl. v . ] 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.
[ C +sing./pl. v . , U ] 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
[ C ] 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
- (be / get) in the family way
- run in the family
■ adjective [ only before noun ]
connected with the family or a particular family :
your family background
owned by a family :
a family business
suitable for all members of a family, both adults and children :
a family show
late 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.