Family vs. Families

By Jaxson

  • Family

    In the context of human society, a family (from Latin: familia) is a group of people related either by consanguinity (by recognized birth), affinity (by marriage or other relationship), or co-residence (as implied by the etymology of the English word “family”

    […] from Latin familia ‘family servants, domestics collectively, the servants in a household,’ thus also ‘members of a household, the estate, property; the household, including relatives and servants,’ abstract noun formed from famulus ‘servant, slave […]’) or some combination of these. Members of the immediate family may include spouses, parents, brothers, sisters, sons, and daughters. Members of the extended family may include grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, nephews, nieces, and siblings-in-law. Sometimes these are also considered members of the immediate family, depending on an individual’s specific relationship with them.

    In most societies, the family is the principal institution for the socialization of children. As the basic unit for raising children, anthropologists generally classify most family organizations as matrifocal (a mother and her children); conjugal (a wife, her husband, and children, also called the nuclear family); avuncular (for example, a grandparent, a brother, his sister, and her children); or extended (parents and children co-reside with other members of one parent’s family). Sexual relations among the members are regulated by rules concerning incest such as the incest taboo.

    The word “family” can be used metaphorically to create more inclusive categories such as community, nationhood, global village, and humanism.

    The field of genealogy aims to trace family lineages through history.

    The family is also an important economic unit studied in family economics.

  • Family (noun)

    A group of people who are closely related to one another (by blood, marriage or adoption); kin; for example, a set of parents and their children; an immediate family.

    “Our family lives in town.”

  • Family (noun)

    An extended family; a group of people who are related to one another by blood or marriage.

  • Family (noun)

    A (close-knit) group of people related by blood, friendship, marriage, law, or custom, especially if they live or work together.

    “crime family, Mafia family”

    “This is my fraternity family at the university.”

    “Our company is one big happy family.”

  • Family (noun)

    A rank in the classification of organisms, below order and above genus; a taxon at that rank.

    “Magnolias belong to the family Magnoliaceae.”

  • Family (noun)

    Any group or aggregation of things classed together as kindred or related from possessing in common characteristics which distinguish them from other things of the same order.

    “Doliracetam is a drug from the racetam family.”

  • Family (noun)

    A group of instruments having the same basic method of tone production.

    “the brass family;”

    “the violin family”

  • Family (noun)

    A group of languages believed to have descended from the same ancestral language.

    “the Indo-European language family;”

    “the Afro-Asiatic language family”

  • Family (noun)

    Used attributively.

    “The dog was kept as a family pet.”

    “For Apocynaceae, this type of flower is a family characteristic.”

  • Family (adjective)

    Suitable for children and adults.

    “It’s not good for a date, it’s a family restaurant.”

    “Some animated movies are not just for kids, they are family movies.”

  • Family (adjective)

    Conservative, traditional.

    “The cultural struggle is for the survival of family values against all manner of atheistic amorality.”

  • Family (adjective)


    “I knew he was family when I first met him.”

  • Families (noun)

    inflection of family||p


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