family Meaning in the Cambridge English Dictionary Cambridge dictionaries logo
Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

Meaning of “family” in the English Dictionary

"family" in British English

See all translations

familynoun

uk   /ˈfæm.əl.i/  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.

expend iconexpend iconMore 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 Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"family" in American English

See all translations

familynoun

 us   /ˈfæm·ə·li, ˈfæm·li/
  • family noun (PARENTS AND CHILDREN)

[C/U] a social group of parents, children, and sometimes grandparents, uncles, aunts, and others who are related: [C] Her family moved here when she was eleven. [U] Many people cope with the demands of both career and family. [C] She wants to get married and have a family (= have children).
  • family noun (BIOLOGICAL TYPE)

biology [C] a large group of related types of animals or plants: The lion is a member of the cat family.
(Definition of family from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of family?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

“family” in British English

A blazing row: words and phrases for arguing and arguments
A blazing row: words and phrases for arguing and arguments
by ,
May 04, 2016
by Kate Woodford We can’t always focus on the positive! This week, we’re looking at the language that is used to refer to arguing and arguments, and the differences in meaning between the various words and phrases. There are several words that suggest that people are arguing about something that is not important. (As you might

Read More 

Word of the Day

galaxy

one of the independent groups of stars in the universe

Word of the Day

trigger warning noun
trigger warning noun
May 02, 2016
a warning that a subject may trigger unpleasant emotions or memories This is not, I should stress, an argument that trigger warnings should become commonplace on campus.

Read More