Fam"i*ly (?), n.; pl.
Families (#). [L. familia, fr.
famulus servant; akin to Oscan famel servant, cf.
faamat he dwells, Skr. dhāman house, fr.
dhāto 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.
2. The group comprising a husband and wife
and their dependent children, constituting a fundamental unit in the
organization of society.
The welfare of the family underlies the welfare
of society. H. Spencer.
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
Go ! and pretend your family is
4. Course of descent; genealogy; line of
5. Honorable descent; noble or respectable
stock; as, a man of family.
6. A group of kindred or closely related
individuals; as, a family of languages; a family of
States; the chlorine family.
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 zoölogy a family is less comprehesive than an order; in
botany it is often considered the same thing as an order.
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
andd dependent upon him. (b) A man of
domestic habits. "The Jews are generally, when married, most
exemplary family men." Mayhew. -- Family
of curves or 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.]