Family Fam"i*ly, n.; pl. {Families}. [L. familia, fr. famulus servant; akin to Oscan famel servant, cf. faamat he dwells, Skr. dh[=a]man house, fr. dh[=a]to set, make, do: cf. F. famille. Cf. {Do}, v. t., {Doom}, {Fact}, {Feat}.] 1. The collective body of persons who live in one house, and under one head or manager; a household, including parents, children, and servants, and, as the case may be, lodgers or boarders. [1913 Webster]

2. The group comprising a husband and wife and their dependent children, constituting a fundamental unit in the organization of society. [1913 Webster]

The welfare of the family underlies the welfare of society. --H. Spencer. [1913 Webster]

3. Those who descend from one common progenitor; a tribe, clan, or race; kindred; house; as, the human family; the family of Abraham; the father of a family. [1913 Webster]

Go ! and pretend your family is young. --Pope. [1913 Webster]

4. Course of descent; genealogy; line of ancestors; lineage. [1913 Webster]

5. Honorable descent; noble or respectable stock; as, a man of family. [1913 Webster]

6. A group of kindred or closely related individuals; as, a family of languages; a family of States; the chlorine family. [1913 Webster]

7. (Biol.) A group of organisms, either animal or vegetable, related by certain points of resemblance in structure or development, more comprehensive than a genus, because it is usually based on fewer or less pronounced points of likeness. In zo["o]logy a family is less comprehesive than an order; in botany it is often considered the same thing as an order. [1913 Webster]

{Family circle}. See under {Circle}.

{Family man}. (a) A man who has a family; esp., one who has a wife and children living with him and dependent upon him. (b) A man of domestic habits. ``The Jews are generally, when married, most exemplary family men.'' --Mayhew.

{Family of curves} or {Family of surfaces} (Geom.), a group of curves or surfaces derived from a single equation.

{In a family way}, like one belonging to the family. ``Why don't we ask him and his ladies to come over in a family way, and dine with some other plain country gentlefolks?'' --Thackeray.

{In the family way}, pregnant. [Colloq. euphemism] [1913 Webster]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

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