All Words Glossary

Glossary of Linguistics Terms
beginning with letter F
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family Tweet Definition of family Like Definition of family on Facebook
noun (famil, ies, -)
  1. (countable) a father, mother and their sons and daughters; also called nuclear family
"Her nuclear family was very small."
  1. (countable) a group of people related by blood, marriage, law, or custom
  2. (countable) a kin, tribe; also called extended family
  3. (context, countable, biology, taxonomy) A rank in the classification of organisms, below order and above genus; a taxon at that rank
Magnolias belong to the Magnoliaceae.
  1. (countable) a group of people who live together
"This is my fraternity family at the university."
  1. (countable) a group of people similar to (2)
"Our company is one big happy family."
  1. (uncountable) collectively, people who are members of one's intimate social group
They treated me like family.
  1. (countable) music: a group of instrument having the same basic method of tone production "the brass family" "the violin family"
  2. (countable) linguistics: a group of languages believed to have descended from the same ancestral language "the Indo-European language family" "the Ural-Altaic language family"
  1. related to the family
The dog was kept as a pet.
For Apocynaceae, this type of flower is a family characteristic.
fingerspelling Tweet Definition of fingerspelling Like Definition of fingerspelling on Facebook
  1. The representation of the letters of the alphabet using just the hands
folk etymology Tweet Definition of folk etymology Like Definition of folk etymology on Facebook
  1. A modification of a word resulting from a misunderstanding of its etymology, as with island, belfry, and hangnail.
  2. Such a misunderstanding; a false etymology that incorrectly explains the origin of a word.
formal Tweet Definition of formal Like Definition of formal on Facebook
  1. formalin
  1. being in accord with established forms
  2. official
  3. relating to the form or structure of something
  4. ceremonial
formative Tweet Definition of formative Like Definition of formative on Facebook
  1. (grammar) a language unit that has morphological function
  1. of, or relating to the formation and subsequent growth of something
My years were spent in an inner city.
  1. capable of forming something
  1. (biology) capable of producing new tissue
  2. (grammar) relating to the inflection of words
fossil Tweet Definition of fossil Like Definition of fossil on Facebook
noun (fossils)
  1. in paleontology, the mineralized remains of an animal or plant
  2. in linguistics, a w:fossilized term
  3. (metaphorically) anything extremely old, extinct, or outdated
fossilize Tweet Definition of fossilize Like Definition of fossilize on Facebook
verb to fossilize (intransitive)
  1. to become a fossil
  2. (context, by extension) to become inflexible or outmoded
front Tweet Definition of front Like Definition of front on Facebook
  1. The side or end of something that faces the direction it normally moves
  2. The side of a building with the building's main entrance
  3. (Military) an area where armies are engaged in conflict
  4. (context, meteorology) The interface or transition zone between two airmasses of different density. Since the temperature distribution is the most important regulator of atmospheric density, a front almost invariably separates airmasses of different temperature. Fronts receive their names from the movement of the air masses involved.
  5. (context, meteorology) An area where masses of warm and cold air meet, often resulting in precipitation.
  6. A person or institution acting as the public face of some other, covert group
  7. A major military subdivision of the Soviet Army.
  8. (Military) The lateral space occupied by an element measured from the extremity of one flank to the extremity of the other flank.
  9. (Military) The direction of the enemy.
  10. (Military) The line of contact of two opposing forces.
  11. (Military) When a combat situation does not exist or is not assumed, the direction toward which the command is faced.
  1. To lead or be the spokesperson of a group.
  2. (intransitive) To provide money or financial assistance in advance.
If you can't afford to buy it, I will you the money.
  1. Located at or near the front.
The runner was thirty meters ahead of her nearest competitor.
  1. (context, phonetics) Of a vowel pronounced near the tip of the tongue.
functional Tweet Definition of functional Like Definition of functional on Facebook
  1. (mathematics) A function that takes other functions as its argument.
  1. In good working order.
  2. Useful; serving a purpose
That sculpture is not merely artistic, but also . It can be used as a hatrack.
  1. (comptheory) Having semantics defined purely in terms of mathematical functions, without side-effects.
fusion Tweet Definition of fusion Like Definition of fusion on Facebook
  1. The act of melting or to liquify something by heating it
  2. The merge, merging of similar or different elements into a union
  3. (physics) A nuclear reaction in which nuclei combine to form more massive nuclei with the concomitant release of energy
  4. Music that blends disparate genres; especially types of jazz
  5. A style of cooking that combines ingredients and techniques from different countries or cultures

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