From Longman Dictionary of Contemporary Englishfamilyfam‧i‧ly /ˈfæməli/ ●●● S1 W1 noun (plural families) 1 closely related group [countable]SSF a group of people who are related to each other, especially a mother, a father, and their children Do you know the family next door? The Webb family still has its farm over there. This house isn’t big enough for a family of seven.2 all your relations [countable, uncountable]SSFFAMILY all the people you are related to, including those who are now dead I’m moving to Detroit because I have some family there.in somebody’s family That painting has been in our family (=been owned by our family) for 200 years. Asthma runs in the family
(=is common in the family).• In senses 1 and 2, family is usually followed by a singular verb: The family now lives in London.My family comes from Scotland originally.• In British English, you can also use a plural verb: The family now live in London.My family come from Scotland originally. 3 children [countable]SSCFAMILY children Couples with young families wouldn’t want to live here. They’re getting married next year, and hope to start a family
(=have children) straight away.bring up/raise a family the problems of bringing up a family on a very low income4 → family size/pack etc5 group of animals/things [countable] technicalGROUP OF THINGS a group of related animals, plants, languages etcthe cat/parrot/squirrel etc family The cat family includes lions and tigers. Spanish and Italian are part of the Romance language family.6 → she’s/he’s family7 → in the family wayCOLLOCATIONS – Meanings 1 & 2adjectivesthe whole familyWe invited the whole family round.all the familyThis is a game which all the family can enjoy.somebody's immediate family (=closest relations)What if one of your immediate family were disabled?somebody's extended family (=including not only parents and children, but also grandparents, aunts etc)She gets a lot of help from her extended family.a large/small familyShe came from a large family of seven children.a one-parent/single-parent familyOne in seven families is a one-parent family.the nuclear family (=a family consisting of a mother, a father, and their children)Not everyone lives in a typical nuclear family.close/close-knit family (=a family that spends a lot of time together and gives each other support)Laura's family are very close.the Royal family (=the king or queen and their family)The Royal Family have large estates in Scotland.the Smith/Jones/Brown etc familyThe Smith family are living in temporary accommodation.family + NOUNa family member/a member of the familyThe event was attended by many of his family members, including his children and grandchildren.somebody's family backgroundHe comes from a stable family background.a family historyIs there a family history of heart disease?family lifeSome people believe that television is destroying family life.a family unitthe breakup of the traditional family unitsomebody's family home (=where someone's family live and where they lived as a child)Her family home is in a village outside Derry.a family business (=one run by members of a family)My parents expected me to join the family business.a family car (=one designed for families with children)It's a practical family car that is also fun to drive.a family holiday British English, a family vacation American English:Most of our family holidays were spent in the south of France.a family resemblance (=when members of the same family look like each other)There's a strong family resemblance between all the sisters.COMMON ERRORS ► Don't say 'my family is five', 'my family is five members/people', or 'my family is of five members/people'. Say there are five people in my family.
Examples from the Corpusfamily• He comes from a family of eight children.• The following computations are based on both general assumptions about all families and specific assumptions about families at specific income levels.• tigers and other members of the cat family• My extended family usually gets together at holidays.• Until recently, all she and her family could do was wait and see.• Pearl is the last surviving member of her family.• Her family came to America from Scotland in about 1750.• Only her immediate family knew she had heart disease.• Secondly, in family abuse, the history of the relationships may be of great significance in current abuse.• Various members of the Kennedy family were at the funeral.• Spanish and Italian are part of the Romance language family.• I grew up in a large family in the South.• Having an intact nuclear family does not guarantee that a child will turn out well.• Our family has lived around here for hundreds of years.• Single-parent families are much more common these days.• The cost of sending kids to college - even for a small family - is extremely high.• Do you know the family next door?• And last but not least, the baby of the family.• A lot of the families living in this area are very poor.• Predictably they will tell the adviser that they can not rehouse all those families and perhaps the tenant can contact the police.• It is their village now, just as much as it was for the old village families.• The resort isn't really the place for people with young families.runs in ... family• It's more of a case of maintaining form while others struggle, and it often runs in the family.• I told you, tiredness runs in the family.• Jimmy Souness, who was a school cleaner, had a history of heart disease which runs in the family.bring up/raise a family• Dads that are bringing up families single handedly shouldn't be forgotten either.• That meant marrying, settling down, bringing up a family, thought Lily.• Bilijana, 26, was looking forward to bringing up a family in their comfortable Sarajevo home.• The sad fact is that on an average classroom teacher's salary it is impossible to bring up a family in London.• How the quite respectable people who lived under these conditions managed to bring up families, I shall never know.• My grandfather had died early, so she was used to bringing up a family on her own.• We have found it to be the ideal way of combining pursuit of a career in medicine with bringing up a family.the cat/parrot/squirrel etc family• Most people opt for the furry friendliness of the cat family.• These markings are found on many of the cat family and are used for signalling their intentions and mood to others.