Family Definition

Define what is Family?

1. family, household, menage, home, house (noun)

a social unit living together.

  • he moved his family to Virginia.
  • It was a good Christian household.
  • I waited until the whole house was asleep.
  • the teacher asked how many people made up his home.
Synonyms: household, menage, home, house

social unit, unit noun
an organization regarded as part of a larger social group.


broken home noun
a family in which the parents have separated or divorced.

conjugal family, nuclear family noun
a family consisting of parents and their children and grandparents of a marital partner.

extended family noun
a family consisting of the nuclear family and their blood relatives.

foster family noun
the family of a fosterling.

foster home noun
a household in which an orphaned or delinquent child is placed (usually by a social-service agency).

menage a trois noun
household for three; an arrangement where a married couple and a lover of one of them live together while sharing sexual relations.

2. family unit, family (noun)

primary social group; parents and children.

  • he wanted to have a good job before starting a family.
Synonyms: family unit

clan, kin group, kindred, kinship group, kin, tribe noun
group of people related by blood or marriage.


mates, couple, match noun
a pair of people who live together.

man and wife, married couple, marriage noun
two people who are married to each other.

3. category, class, family (noun)

a collection of things sharing a common attribute.

  • there are two classes of detergents.
Synonyms: category, class

aggregation, collection, accumulation, assemblage noun
several things grouped together or considered as a whole.


grammatical category, syntactic category noun
(grammar) a category of words having the same grammatical properties.

substitution class, paradigm noun
the class of all items that can be substituted into the same position (or slot) in a grammatical sentence (are in paradigmatic relation with one another).

brass family noun
(music) the family of brass instruments.

violin family noun
(music) the family of bowed stringed instruments.

woodwind family noun
(music) the family of woodwind instruments.

stamp noun
a type or class.

sex noun
either of the two categories (male or female) into which most organisms are divided.

declension noun
a class of nouns or pronouns or adjectives in Indo-European languages having the same (or very similar) inflectional forms.

conjugation noun
a class of verbs having the same inflectional forms.

denomination noun
a class of one kind of unit in a system of numbers or measures or weights or money.

histocompatibility complex noun
a family of fifty or more genes on the sixth human chromosome that code for proteins on the surfaces of cells and that play a role in the immune response.

4. family line, kinfolk, kinsfolk, phratry, Sept, folk, family (noun)

people descended from a common ancestor.

  • his family has lived in Massachusetts since the Mayflower.

people noun
members of a family line.

homefolk noun
the people of your home locality (especially your own family).

house noun
aristocratic family line.

dynasty noun
a sequence of powerful leaders in the same family.

gens, name noun
family based on male descent.

5. kin, kinsperson, family (noun)

a person having kinship with another or others.

  • he's kin.
  • he's family.
Synonyms: kin, kinsperson

relative, relation noun
a person related by blood or marriage.


affine noun
(anthropology) kin by marriage.

6. family (noun)

(biology) a taxonomic group containing one or more genera.

  • sharks belong to the fish family.

taxon, taxonomic category, taxonomic group noun
animal or plant group having natural relations.


Filoviridae noun
a family of threadlike RNA viruses that cause diseases in humans and nonhuman primates (monkeys and chimpanzees).

bacteria family noun
a family of bacteria.

protoctist family noun
any of the families of Protoctista.

Endamoebidae, family Endamoebidae noun
a large family of endoparasitic amebas that invade the digestive tract.

fish family noun
any of various families of fish.

chordate family noun
any family in the phylum Chordata.

bird family noun
a family of warm-blooded egg-laying vertebrates characterized by feathers and forelimbs modified as wings.

amphibian family noun
any family of amphibians.

reptile family noun
a family of reptiles.

arthropod family noun
any of the arthropods.

mammal family noun
a family of mammals.

coelenterate family noun
a family of coelenterates.

ctenophore family noun
a family of ctenophores.

worm family noun
a family of worms.

mollusk family noun
a family of mollusks.

family Panorpidae, Panorpidae noun
a family of insects of the order Mecoptera.

Bittacidae, family Bittacidae noun
a family of predacious tropical insects of the order Mecoptera.

echinoderm family noun
a family of echinoderms.

form family noun
(biology) an artificial taxonomic category for organisms of which the true relationships are obscure.

moss family noun
a family of mosses.

liliopsid family, monocot family noun
family of flowering plants having a single cotyledon (embryonic leaf) in the seed.

dicot family, magnoliopsid family noun
family of flowering plants having two cotyledons (embryonic leaves) in the seed which usually appear at germination.

fungus family noun
includes lichen families.

plant family noun
a family of plants.

fern family noun
families of ferns and fern allies.

7. crime syndicate, syndicate, mob, family (noun)

a loose affiliation of gangsters in charge of organized criminal activities.


    gangdom, gangland, organized crime noun
    underworld organizations.


    Cosa Nostra, Maffia, Mafia noun
    a crime syndicate in the United States; organized in families; believed to have important relations to the Sicilian Mafia.

    8. fellowship, family (noun)

    an association of people who share common beliefs or activities.

    • the message was addressed not just to employees but to every member of the company family.
    • the church welcomed new members into its fellowship.
    Synonyms: fellowship

    association noun
    a formal organization of people or groups of people.


    koinonia noun
    Christian fellowship or communion with God or with fellow Christians; said in particular of the early Christian community.

    Nearby Terms

    family Acanthaceae (noun)
    widely distributed herbs and shrubs and trees; sometimes placed in the order Scrophulariales

    family Acanthisittidae (noun)
    alternative names for the family comprising the New Zealand wrens

    family Acanthuridae (noun)

    family Acaridae (noun)

    family Accipitridae (noun)
    hawks; Old World vultures; kites; harriers; eagles

    family Aceraceae (noun)
    a family of trees and shrubs of order Sapindales including the maples

    family Acipenseridae (noun)

    family Acrididae (noun)
    short-horned grasshoppers; true locusts

    family Actinidiaceae (noun)
    tropical trees or shrubs or woody vines

    family Actinomycetaceae (noun)
    filamentous anaerobic bacteria

    family Adelgidae (noun)
    plant lice

    family Adiantaceae (noun)
    used in some classification systems for some genera of the family Polypodiaceae (or Pteridaceae)

    family Aegypiidae (noun)
    in some classifications considered the family comprising the Old World vultures which are more often included in the family Accipitridae

    family Aepyornidae (noun)
    coextensive with the order Aepyorniformes

    family Agamidae (noun)
    an Old World reptile family of Sauria