Definition of subfamily in US English:



  • 1A subdivision of a group.

    • ‘This family presently contains more than 22 genera subdivided into three subfamilies, and the family extends through most of the Permian.’
    • ‘The superfamily currently comprises 19 families, approximately 89 subfamilies, and about 21,000 described species.’
    • ‘In the early nineteenth century, language historians identified German as a member of the Germanic subfamily of the Indo-European family of languages.’
    • ‘The definition of subfamilies and tribes within the family has been a source of controversy.’
    • ‘There are several examples of ancient families or subfamilies being splintered and partially overlain by other groups expanding into the older language's territory.’
    • ‘In this study, we divided the members of three families into clusters and subfamilies with the purpose of separating to some degree the influence of physical proximity and identity.’
    • ‘Language families and subfamilies are indicated on the branches of the tree.’
    • ‘In each case pairs were constructed with species from the same tribe or subfamily.’
    • ‘First, the deeper contrasts, those where the social lineage and its nonsocial relative are from different tribes, subfamilies, or families, are all positive.’
    • ‘Accordingly, the kindred was subdivided into 27 subfamilies to remove the loops created by inbreeding.’
    • ‘Petal wilting has been found to be ethylene-sensitive or insensitive, and these two categories were consistent within families or subfamilies.’
    group, subdivision
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    1. 1.1Biology A taxonomic category that ranks below family and above tribe or genus, usually ending in -inae (in zoology) or -oideae (in botany).
      • ‘Many genera in the subfamily Ambleminae, tribe Lampsilini exhibit sexual dimorphism.’
      • ‘Sentosia is the name-bearer for the subfamily Sentosiinae and the family Sentosiidae.’
      • ‘We here examine the evolutionary pattern of Catsper1 from nine species of the rodent subfamily Murinae of family Muridae.’
      • ‘The family Clusiaceae and the subfamily Clusioideae with the genus Clusia have a minimum phylogenetic age of 90 x 10 years.’
      • ‘The sample comprises species belonging to different genera in the subfamily Aroideae.’