Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • adjective Of or relating to a family.
  • adjective Occurring or tending to occur among members of a family, usually by heredity.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • Occurring in members of the same family, though not necessarily hereditary: said of certain diseases, especially of the nervous system.
  • As in a family; family-like.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • adjective relating to or having the characteristics of a family.
  • adjective tending to occur among members of a family, usually by hereditary transmission.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • adjective Of or pertaining to human family.
  • adjective technical Of or pertaining to any grouping of things referred to as a family.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adjective occurring among members of a family usually by heredity
  • adjective relating to or having the characteristics of a family

Etymologies

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From the Latin familia suffixed with -al.

Examples

  • At the Virginia news conference, Prince William County prosecutor Paul Ebert and Fairfax County Police Detective John Kelly said the case would have been solved years ago if Virginia police had been allowed to use what is called "familial DNA" searching.

    Suspect in East Coast rapes held on $1.5M bail

  • Spanking was a punishment that was delivered upon my sister and I when we breached certain familial rules, like not acting in any way that might bring harm to ourselves or to each other.

    Sticks And Stones | Her Bad Mother

  • The risk of gastrointestinal carcinoma in familial juvenile polyposis.

    Juvenile Polyposis

  • Nestorowicz A, Glaser B, Wilson BA, Shyng SL, Nichols CG, Stanley CA, et al. Genetic heterogeneity in familial hyperinsulinism [published erratum appears in Hum Mol Genet 1998 Sep; 7 (9): 1527].

    Resources for Professionals

  • Correction of hemodynamic abnormalities by vesicoamniotic shunting in familial congenital megacystis.

    Obstructive Uropathy, Fetal Intervention for Obstructive Uropathy

  • As he tells it, observation of them constitutes his first "lessons" in familial relations,

    Attached to Reading: Mary Shelley's Psychical Reality

  • Might this involve walking tours and buggy rides along reconfigured paths, freshly coated with porous asphalt and punctuated with carefully structured picturesque garden views of heterosexual couples and their strapping, handsome kids in familial bliss, complemented with scenes of equally heterosexual deers, birds and bunnies?

    Archive 2007-02-01

  • Might this involve walking tours and buggy rides along reconfigured paths, freshly coated with porous asphalt and punctuated with carefully structured picturesque garden views of heterosexual couples and their strapping, handsome kids in familial bliss, complemented with scenes of equally heterosexual deers, birds and bunnies?

    Grand Canyon: The Creationist Tour

  • Contemporary Christian religious culture abounded in familial imagery, both biological and spiritual, as an expression of community, often focused on Mary as both mother of God and mother of all the faithful.

    A Tender Age: Cultural Anxieties over the Child in the Twelfth and Thirteenth Centuries

  • These tales betray a renewed interest in familial pietas in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries and its connection to Christian piety, and they reflect contemporary pastoral concerns. 6 The attention to mother and child also parallels and, as we shall see, derives in a variety of ways from the twelfth - and thirteenth-century tendencies to humanize Christ and his Mother.

    A Tender Age: Cultural Anxieties over the Child in the Twelfth and Thirteenth Centuries

Comments

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  • Coined towards 1900 as a medical term, effectively a synonym for 'hereditary', as the older adjective 'familiar' was unsuitable. (In Latin the adjectival ending -al- dissimilated away from a previous medial /l/.)

    June 17, 2009

  • Very similar to filial.

    June 18, 2009