Meaning of FAMILY in English

/ 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 :

family life

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.

Oxford Advanced Learner's English Dictionary.      Оксфордский английский словарь для изучающик язык на продвинутом уровне.