Definition of superfamily in US English:


nounPlural superfamilies

  • 1A taxonomic category that ranks above family and below order.

    • ‘None of the Triassic superfamilies of ammonites lived on into the Jurassic, but three new superfamilies appeared in the Early Jurassic.’
    • ‘On the basis of broad structural characteristics, amphibian antimicrobial peptides have been grouped into superfamilies, each being differentiated into various families.’
    • ‘This was rapidly followed by diversification of the superfamilies, and from our analyses it seems evident that extant bat families appear to have radiated fairly rapidly, with all families having evolved before the late Eocene.’
    • ‘The first group includes the molecule belonging to the species of the superfamilies Cavioidea and Chinchilloidea, which conserves the number of residues (chain A with 21 and chain B with 30 residues).’
    • ‘Several of the superfamilies include members from two or three different eukaryotic kingdoms, which suggests that they have diverged early during or before eukaryotic evolution.’
    1. 1.1Linguistics
      another term for phylum