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400 Must Have Words for the TOEFL LESSON 32 – Family Relationships Vocabulary Test

400 Must Have Words for the TOEFL LESSON 32 - Family Relationships Vocabulary Test

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Word List

ancestral [ænˈsestrəl] adj.

Relating to family members from earlier generations

 Sweden is my ancestral homeland, from which my greatgrandfather emigrated in 1922.

Parts of speech     ancestor n., ancestry n.

cohesion [kəʊˈhiːʒən] n.

Ability to stay together as a unit

 Family cohesion is difficult if young people have to go far away to find work.

Usage tips     Cohesion can also be used to describe forces that keep materials or structures together.

Parts of speech     cohere v., cohesiveness n.

descendant [dɪˈsendənt] n.

A direct relative in a later generation (such as one’s son, daughter, or grandchild)

 Billy Sobieski claimed to be a descendant of Jan Sobieski, a former king of Poland.

Usage tips     Descendant is often followed by an of phrase.

Parts of speech     descend v., descent n.

inheritance [ɪnˈherɪtəns] n.

Things passed down to you from your ancestors

 My inheritance from my grandmother included her favorite necklace.

Parts of speech     inherit v., inheritor n.

kin [kɪn] n.


 Even though my uncle didn’t really like me, he was kind to me because we were kin.

Usage tips     A common phrase is next of kin, meaning “closest relative.”

Parts of speech     kinship n.

legitimate [lɪˈdʒɪtɪmɪt] adj.

True and respectable; in the context of family, born of a mother and father who were married to each other

 You can skip the meeting if you have a legitimate reason.

Usage tips     The opposite of legitimate is illegitimate.

Parts of speech     legitimize v., legitimacy n.

paternal [pəˈtəːnl] adj.

Relating to a father

 My mother’s parents have both died, but my paternal grandparents are still alive.

Usage tips     Paternal may appear with maternal, meaning “relating to a mother.”

proximity [prɒkˈsɪmɪtɪ] n.


 The house was comfortable, except for its proximity to a busy road.

Usage tips     Proximity can be followed by an of phrase or a to phrase.

Parts of speech     proximate adj.

sentiment [ˈsentɪmənt] n.

Feelings; opinion based on feelings

 I share your sentiments about air travel, but I disagree that cars are safer.

Usage tips     Sentiments (the plural) is more common than sentiment.

Parts of speech     sentimentality n., sentimental adj.

sibling [ˈsɪblɪŋ] n.

Brother or sister

 My siblings and I got together to buy our parents a gift for their anniversary.

Usage tips     Sibling is often preceded by a possessive noun or pronoun.

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