My niece, her husband, her almost 3 year old son and 1 month old daughter are visiting from out of state. We’re hosting a celebration/baby shower for Baby M and a Welcome Home visit for the rest of them and another niece arriving today. None of these definitions exactly fit our relationship, as she and her sister are the daughters of my brother’s ex-wife. We have no blood or matrimonial bond, but try and tell me Baby M’s not family as I hold the sweet bundle in my arms and I’ll have to put a serious smack down on you.
As dear friend Heather Welliver says, “There’s the family you’re born into, and then there’s the family you create.” And we long ago accepted these girls into our hearts, where they remain regardless of the legal and blood-lines dictate.
- a basic social unit consisting of parents and their children, considered as a group, whether dwelling together or not: the traditional family;
- a social unit consisting of one or more adults together with the children they care for: a single-parent family;
- the children of one person or one couple collectively: We want a large family;
- the spouse and children of one person: We’re taking the family on vacation next week;
- any group of persons closely related by blood, as parents, children, uncles, aunts, and cousins: to marry into a socially prominent family;
- all those persons considered as descendants of a common progenitor;
- Chiefly British . approved lineage, especially noble, titled, famous, or wealthy ancestry: young men of family;
- a group of persons who form a household under one head, including parents, children, and servants;
- the staff, or body of assistants, of an official: the office family;
- a group of related things or people: the family of romantic poets; the halogen family of elements;
- a group of people who are generally not blood relations but who share common attitudes, interests, or goals and, frequently, live together: Many hippie communes of the sixties regarded themselves as families;
- a group of products or product models made by the same manufacturer or producer;
- Biology . the usual major subdivision of an order or suborder in the classification of plants, animals, fungi, etc., usually consisting of several genera;
- Slang . a unit of the Mafia or Cosa Nostra operating in one area under a local leader;
- Linguistics . the largest category into which languages related by common origin can be classified with certainty: Indo-European, Sino-Tibetan, and Austronesian are the most widely spoken families of languages. Compare stock ( def. 12 ) , subfamily ( def. 2 );
- a given class of solutions of the same basic equation, differing from one another only by the different values assigned to the constants in the equation.
- a class of functions or the like defined by an expression containing a parameter.
- a set.