family |’fam(ə)lē|

noun ( plural families )

1. a group consisting of two parents and their children living together as a unit.

• a group of people related to one another by blood or marriage: friends and family can provide support.

• the children of a person or couple being discussed: she has the sole responsibility for a large family.

• a person or people related to one and so to be treated with a special loyalty or intimacy: I could not turn him away, for he was family.

portrait |’pôrtrət, - 'trāt|


1. a painting, drawing, photograph, or engraving of a person, especially one depicting only the face or head and shoulders.

• a representation or impression of someone or something in language or on film or television.

* Definitions from Oxford University Press online (

Blending these definitions, a family portrait is a representation or impression of people related to one another who are to be treated with a special loyalty or intimacy. They are a historical view of our families — a representation of a time in the history of our parents, grandparents, and even great-grandparents. They are the visual aid we use to help us tell our children stories about their family. Family portraits are important — maybe not as much for today than for the future, for the generations that will outlast us; the family portraits that help tell our ...

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