family (n.)

15世纪初,"家庭的仆人",来自拉丁文 familia "家庭的仆人,家政人员的统称,家庭中的仆人",因此也是"家庭的成员,庄园、财产;家庭,包括亲属和仆人",由 famulus "仆人、奴隶"形成的抽象名词,来源不明。

该拉丁词很少出现在"父母与子女"的意义上,为此 domus (见 domestic (adj.))。 famulus 的衍生词有: famula "侍女、女仆", famulanter "以仆人的方式", famulitas "奴役", familiaris "自己家的、私人的", familiaricus "家奴的", familiaritas "亲密的友谊"。


它取代了古英语 hiwscipehiwan "家庭",与古北欧语 hjon "家庭中的一个;已婚夫妇,男人和妻子;家庭佣人"同源,并与古高德语 hiwo "丈夫"、 hiwa "妻子"同源,也与立陶宛语 šeimyna "家庭"、哥特语 haims "村庄"、古英语 ham "村庄、家"同源(见 home (n.))。

作为17世纪的形容词;到1807年有"适合家庭"的意思。 Family values 到1966年有记载。词组 in a family way "怀孕"是1796年的。 Family circle 是1809年。 family man "忠于妻子和孩子的男人,倾向于过家庭生活的男人"是1856年(早先它的意思是"小偷",1788年,来自 family ,在俚语意义上是"小偷的兄弟会")。 Family tree "祖先关系图"证自1752年。

I have certainly known more men destroyed by the desire to have wife and child and to keep them in comfort than I have seen destroyed by drink and harlots. [William Butler Yeats, "Autobiography"]

He was dressed in his best Coat, which had served him in the same Capacity before my Birth, and possibly, might be but little short in Antiquity, to the Root of his third Family Tree; and indeed, he made a venerable Figure in it. ["A Genuine Account of the Life and Transactions of Howell ap David Price, Gentleman of Wales," London, 1752]

Happy family an assemblage of animals of diverse habits and propensities living amicably, or at least quietly, together in one cage. [Century Dictionary, 1902]

Origin and meaning of family

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Definitions of family from WordNet

family (n.)
a social unit living together;
the family refused to accept his will
he moved his family to Virginia
Synonyms: household / house / home / menage
family (n.)
primary social group; parents and children;
he wanted to have a good job before starting a family
Synonyms: family unit
family (n.)
a collection of things sharing a common attribute;
Synonyms: class / category
family (n.)
people descended from a common ancestor;
his family has lived in Massachusetts since the Mayflower
Synonyms: family line / folk / kinfolk / kinsfolk / sept / phratry
family (n.)
a person having kinship with another or others;
he's family
Synonyms: kin / kinsperson
family (n.)
(biology) a taxonomic group containing one or more genera;
sharks belong to the fish family
family (n.)
a loose affiliation of gangsters in charge of organized criminal activities;
Synonyms: syndicate / crime syndicate / mob
family (n.)
an association of people who share common beliefs or activities;
the message was addressed not just to employees but to every member of the company family
Synonyms: fellowship