family definition, meaning - what is family in the British English Dictionary & Thesaurus - Cambridge Dictionaries Online

Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “family”

See all translations

family

noun uk   us   /ˈfæm.əl.i/

family noun (SOCIAL GROUP)

A1 [C or U + sing/pl verb] a group of people who are related to each other, such as a mother, a father, and their children: A new family has/have moved in next door. I come from a large family - I have three brothers and two sisters. He doesn't have any family. He's American but his family (= relatives in the past) come/comes from Ireland. This movie is good family entertainment (= something that can be enjoyed by parents and children together). How do you like family life (= being married, having children, etc.)?B1 [C usually singular, U + sing/pl verb] the children of a family: Women shouldn't have to choose between career and family (= having children). Paul and Ana are hoping to start a family (= have children) soon. My dad died when we were small so my mum raised the family on her own. [C, + sing/pl verb] a pair of adult animals and their babies: We've got a family of squirrels living in our garden.
More examples

family noun (BIOLOGICAL GROUP)

[C] specialized biology a large group of related types of animal or plant: The lion is a member of the cat family.
(Definition of family from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of family?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Definitions of “family” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

gale-force

(of winds) very strong

Word of the Day

They sometimes go here and they never go there: using adverbs of frequency

by Liz Walter,
April 29, 2015
Sometimes, always, often, never: these are some of the most common words in English.  Unfortunately, they are also some of the words that cause the most problems for students. Many of my students put them in the wrong place, often because that’s where they go in their own languages. They say things

Read More 

Evel abbreviation

May 04, 2015
English votes for English laws; the idea that only English (as opposed to Scottish, Welsh or Irish) MPs should be allowed to vote for laws that affect only England Yet these are the two principal constitutional proposals that have come from the Conservative party in its kneejerk response to Ukip’s English nationalism and

Read More