Did you know?

Click any word in a definition or example to find the entry for that word

General words for family members

black sheep

noun

someone who is not approved of by the other members of their family or the group they belong to because they are thought to behave badly

blood

noun

the family, nation, or group that you belong to through your parents and grandparents

blood relation

noun

someone that you are related to by birth, rather than by marriage

charge

noun

someone that you are responsible for and take care of

clansman

noun

a man who is a member of a clan

clanswoman

noun

a woman who is a member of a clan

dependant

noun

a child or other relative to whom you give food, money, and a home

dependent

noun

the American spelling of dependant

the elder

adjective

the person who is older, especially of two people in the same family

elder

noun

someone in your family or community who is older than you

eldest

noun

the oldest child in a family

extended family

noun

a family group that includes grandparents, cousins, aunts etc

family

noun

a group of people who are all related to one another, including dead members of the group: can be followed by a singular or plural verb

family

noun

people who are related to you: can be followed by a singular or plural verb

family

noun

children in a family: can be followed by a singular or plural verb

family

adjective

suitable for a family with children

generation

noun

all the members of a family who are of a similar age and whose parents are of a similar age

home

noun

the place where your parents live and where you grew up

kin

noun

all the people in your family

kindred

noun

the whole of someone’s family, considered as a group

kinsman

noun

a male relative

kinswoman

noun

a female relative

kith and kin

noun

your friends and relatives

loved one

noun

someone who you care about very much, especially a member of your family

the man of the house

noun

the man who is responsible for looking after a family

matriarch

noun

a female leader of a family or community

menfolk

noun

the men in a family or community

next of kin

noun

your closest relative or relatives, for example your mother, father, son, or daughter. This word is used especially in official documents.

paterfamilias

noun

a man who is a father and the person considered to be in charge of a family

paternal

adjective

a paternal relative is related to you through your father

patriarch

noun

the oldest man in a family or organization, who is respected because of this

patriarchal

adjective

typical of a patriarch

provider

noun

someone whose income pays for a family’s food, the place where they live, and other basic needs

relation

noun

a member of your family

relative

noun

a member of your family, especially one who does not live with you, for example a grandparent or cousin

rello

noun

a relative

seed

noun

an old word used in the Bible to mean all the children, grandchildren etc of a particular man

side

noun

a part of your family, either your father’s set of relatives or your mother’s

stepfamily

noun

a family that has at least one stepparent

tribe

noun

the children of a large family

wage-earner

noun

a member of a family who earns money for the rest of the family

womenfolk

noun

the women in a particular family, community etc

a near relative/relation

a member of your family who has a very close relationship to you, such as a parent or sister

be someone’s elder

to be older than someone, especially someone in your family

blood is thicker than water

used for saying that family relationships are usually stronger than other types of relationships

hearth and home

used for referring to your home and family

someone’s nearest and dearest

someone’s family

someone’s (own) flesh and blood

someone’s relative

someone’s people

someone’s parents or their family in general

Open Dictionary

chicken raffle

any random process, such as a competition in which a name is drawn from a hat

add a word

Blog

A must for anyone with an interest in the changing face of language. The Macmillan Dictionary blog explores English as it is spoken around the world today.

global English and language change from our blog