Finding the right words to describe family members in different situations is never too easy. In fact, you could fail to find a proper word even with a dictionary in front of you.
If you are looking to get words to describe family members, we have a few below that will fit the task accordingly.
Words to Describe Family: When describing your relationship with family
“I consider the relationship between my family and I to be very close. We talk on the phone every week and sometimes, every day. I also inform my parents and siblings of all of my major decisions before I make them.”
The word close is great to use because it immediately suggests a tight-knit situation. It is also easy to understand.
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“It’s rather hard to categorize my relationship with my family. They are flying over to surprise me for my birthday. I found out! However, you wouldn’t believe that it was the same family that threw me out last year for smoking marijuana.
It’s the most bizarre love–hate relationship ever.”
When you can’t find any other word to describe your family relationship, love-hate is a perfect alternative.
“Claire and Ben never really talk to their family during the year. Their relationship with their family is so detached that they don’t call their parents at all. They meet with the family for major events, but that’s about it.”
Detached is great to use because it captures the way in which you may not have contact with your family. It’s between full-on hate and full-on love. Not many other words can describe your relationship in this way.
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“When I was younger, my parents and I had a terrific relationship. Ever since I left home for New York, our relationship has changed and become strained. My parents are still angry with me, so I fear that it may never recover.”
The word strained is commonly used in speech and conversation, so anyone could understand its meaning easily.
“As someone grows older, his/her relationship with the immediate family is bound to become strained or compliant. The latter is obviously the better choice if you want to have some peace of mind.”
It is classy and uncommon, but it sums up the relationship perfectly.
“I don’t always mention it, but my relationship with my family is so fraught these days. Every new day is characterized by a lot of unnecessary tension and emotional manipulation.”
Fraught sounds like a word that carries weight when you pronounce it in a sentence, and it helps capture the sense of the relationship; for the listener/reader, he/she can understand that it’s not easy.
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“One time, I told a social worker in my town that I didn’t know where my parents lived. She looked very surprised. The truth is that my relationship with my family is a difficult one, unfortunately. I couldn’t care less where they lived to be honest.”
The word difficult is good to use because it is easy to understand and can be placed in any sentence that describes a tense family relationship.
How to describe your family positively
“Every time I think about that summer in 2006 when I broke my leg, only one thought pops into my head. I couldn’t have healed or recovered without a family as loving and as patient as mine.”
This word is good to use because it is quite common; it is easy to understand that relationship is good. It is also very positive in nature.
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“When we go out to events, my family is often described as illustrious and modern. I didn’t realize what it meant until I was older, and now I know that it is a compliment in the best sense. I guess that I could consider myself as lucky to have my family.”
This word paints your family in a very positive light while making you sound classy when you use it.
“Is it better to grow up in an everyday family or a high achieving one? Both have their positives, and some come with some negative aspects too. At least a high-achieving family is guaranteed to make something out of you.”
This is another word that makes your family sound well-educated and smart. It is also quite easy to understand.
“Our family is what I’d call a tight-knit family in the best sense. We hang out together a lot, despite living in separate states and being a composed family. I wouldn’t have it any other way.”
For a family that is very close, this is one way to describe the relationship positively. Tight-knit is not too hard to understand either.
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“As an only child, I feel lucky for a few things in my life; my family is one of them, without them I would be lost. They are extraordinary human beings; not to mention, my wife is a truth-teller, and my close friends are just the best.”
This is the easiest word to use when describing your family positively. It is both simple and easy to use when you want to describe your family positively.
Words to Describe Family: When describing your family negatively
“James’s family was tight-knit once, then his mother died. His sister married and moved to Rhode Island. James grew to dislike his father’s guts, and he fled to New York. The family is still estranged today.”
The word estranged can only trigger ideas of broken relationships, damage, and nothing else. In other words, it is perfect for this purpose of describing a family negatively.
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“Most children within the foster home system, in this state, have a history of living in dysfunctional families from a very young age. All that confusion messes them up, and some of the children end up on the street.”
The word dysfunctional is great to use because it is commonly used to refer to families that are not functioning well. Therefore, it’s easy to understand when trying to describe a family negatively.
“They say that all families have their problems. Mine must have all of the world’s worst problems combined because it is extremely tumultuous. There is never a dull moment in the house nor one of silence and introspection.”
Derived from the word “tumult,” this word easily paints a picture of a family that experiences arguments and disarray regularly, which makes it easy to understand that the family is a source of negativity.
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“I am sorry if this sounds rude, but my family members are not the nice, kind people you think they are. They are a malicious lot, intent on owning everything, giving back nothing, and hurting others whenever necessary.”
People associate malicious with negative energy, so this word works perfectly when describing your family in a negative light.
“I love my family, but they are so annoying. I can’t count the number of times they’ve embarrassed me in front of my friends or made random decisions about my life without my input.”
This is one of the best words to negatively describe your family. The word is so easy to understand that you can’t go wrong by using it.
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When describing family values
“One of the biggest deals in our house growing up was our family values, and the biggest one that our parents emphasized was the truth. As I’ve grown older, I see why the truth was/is so important to pass on.”
Truth is easier to understand as a word than its synonyms, which makes it the best option to use in a sentence.
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“Growing up, Mary’s family volunteered a lot in her community while helping out at charities and in soup kitchens. Her parents always took her along, instilling in her compassion as one of the family’s main values.”
This is a good value to use because unlike others, like integrity and truth, it’s not commonly brought up. It adds a unique touch to the sentence.
20 Hard work
“Honestly, I feel like some parents today over exaggerate the concept of hard work as a family value. Times are changing, and the hardest workers aren’t necessarily the happiest or most financially well-off.”
Using the term hard work helps you sound relatable; it is a word that everyone can understand easily and immediately. It is also a very respected family value, so it works well when used in a sentence.
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“I can’t help being courteous to everyone I meet. It is something that I grew up; it’s the product of being trained in the art of respect from a young age. Respect was one of our main family values, and we swore by it.”
The term respect can fit in any sentence or speech when describing family values because it is a common word; not to mention, anyone can understand it, and respect is common family value.
“One of the best traits for any family to have is generosity. A giving family is a blessed family; any preacher at the stand will tell you. Families ought to add generosity to their list of family values.”
Generosity is known to be a common family value, so it will be easy to understand when used to describe your family’s charitable habits.
Words to Describe Family: When describing a family reunion
“When the Smith family organizes a family reunion, it is always a joyous event. They always have a band present, and they play loud music all night long.
They sing and dance; the grandmother, father, and grandchildren dance all together, like it’s summer camp at home all over again.”
If the family reunion is a high-spirited affair with lots of happiness, joyous is the perfect word to describe it. It suggests joy and happiness to the reader/listener, and it can easily be inserted in any conversation.
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“I live next door to a large campsite, and this one big family has a reunion there every year. There are so many of them, and their reunion sounds so fun-filled every time. They even hire a clown to perform at the reunion.
Once, they lit a bonfire that got out of control, and we had to help them put it out.”
Most family reunions have a lot of fun activities planned, so fun-filled is always a great word to use.
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“The one thing I remember about the last family reunion that we all had before Gammie’s death was that it was so cheerful.
It was a good day of sun, and we were out in the park. We cut a cake, and we shared champagne; all of us danced around in circles till we were spent.”
An even easier word to describe a family reunion is cheerful. Everyone knows it means brightness and happiness, so you will not lose your audience.
The best words to describe family are sometimes the simplest words that we ignore.
If you are currently looking for ideas for the best words to describe family members, you can use our list of words above to get some ideas. Each word is used in a sample and dissected to analyze its effectiveness.