family

Definitions

General English

  • noun a group of people who are related to each other, especially mother, father and children
  • noun a group of animals or plants which are closely related

General Science

  • noun a group of people, or of some other animals, composed of parents and offspring

Agriculture

  • noun a group of genera which have some characteristics in common

Computing

  • noun a range of different designs of a particular typeface
  • noun a range of machines from one manufacturer that are compatible with other products in the same line from the same manufacturer

Electronics

  • A group of things which are related. For instance, a line of computers all using the same CPU, or a group of chemical elements with similar properties.

Information & Library Science

  • noun a group of all the characters belonging to the same typeface, including all the different fonts
  • noun a group of related things such as plants, animals or languages, used as the basis of classification

Marketing

  • noun a group of products which are linked by a brand name or by their packaging

Origin & History of “family”

Latin famulus, a word of unknown origin, meant ‘servant’. from it was derived familia, a collective term for all the domestic servants of a household. only rarely was it used for the entire household, including the servants’ employers too, and when it first entered English it was with the original Latin sense (which indeed survived until the late 18th century). Gradually, however, the English word broadened out to ‘whole household’, and then in the mid-17th century narrowed down again to the current main sense ‘group of related people’.
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