follow Dictionary.com

How Well Do You Know English Slang?

familiar

[fuh-mil-yer] /fəˈmɪl yər/
adjective
1.
commonly or generally known or seen:
a familiar sight.
2.
well-acquainted; thoroughly conversant:
to be familiar with a subject.
3.
informal; easygoing; unceremonious; unconstrained:
to write in a familiar style.
4.
closely intimate or personal:
a familiar friend; to be on familiar terms.
5.
unduly intimate; too personal; taking liberties; presuming:
The duchess disliked familiar servants.
6.
domesticated; tame.
7.
of or pertaining to a family or household.
noun
8.
a familiar friend or associate.
9.
Witchcraft and Demonology.
  1. an animal, as a cat, that embodies a supernatural spirit and aids a witch in performing magic.
  2. familiar spirit.
10.
Roman Catholic Church.
  1. an officer of the Inquisition, employed to arrest accused or suspected persons.
  2. a person who belongs to the household of the pope or of a bishop, rendering domestic though not menial service.
Origin
1300-1350
1300-50; Middle English < Latin familiāris of a household (see family, -ar1); replacing Middle English famulier < Middle French < Latin, as above
Related forms
familiarly, adverb
familiarness, noun
nonfamiliar, adjective
nonfamiliarly, adverb
overfamiliar, adjective
overfamiliarly, adverb
prefamiliar, adjective
prefamiliarly, adverb
quasi-familiar, adjective
quasi-familiarly, adverb
ultrafamiliar, adjective
Synonyms
4. Familiar, confidential, intimate suggest a long association between persons. Familiar means well-acquainted with another person: a familiar friend. Confidential suggests a sense of mutual trust that extends to the sharing of confidences and secrets: a confidential adviser. Intimate suggests close acquaintance or connection, often based on interest, sympathy, or affection: intimate and affectionate letters. 5. forward, bold.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source
Examples for familiar
  • The players not only compete, they enact a familiar ceremony that reaffirms common values.
  • When plagiarism lands an administrator in trouble, it is usually plagiarism of the more familiar variety.
  • Make sure you are familiar with the databases they own and the circ system they are currently using.
  • There is more poetry around, and people are more familiar with it, than they believe.
  • If you are familiar with children, as you surely are, you know to expect the unexpected from them.
  • Look closely at the league rosters and you'll notice a few familiar names that are nowhere to be found.
  • It is a familiar tale of photosynthesis, forests, farming and fossils fuels.
  • Monetary tightening is expected to intensify for two reasons, one familiar, the other less so.
  • Many other strange creatures turn out to be familiar faces in disguise.
  • By now, the litany of dismaying statistics is all too familiar.
British Dictionary definitions for familiar

familiar

/fəˈmɪlɪə/
adjective
1.
well-known; easily recognized a familiar figure
2.
frequent or customary a familiar excuse
3.
(postpositive) foll by with. acquainted
4.
friendly; informal
5.
close; intimate
6.
more intimate than is acceptable; presumptuous
7.
an archaic word for familial
noun
8.
Also called familiar spirit. a supernatural spirit often assuming animal form, supposed to attend and aid a witch, wizard, etc
9.
a person, attached to the household of the pope or a bishop, who renders service in return for support
10.
an officer of the Inquisition who arrested accused persons
11.
a friend or frequent companion
Derived Forms
familiarly, adverb
familiarness, noun
Word Origin
C14: from Latin familiāris domestic, from familiafamily
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for familiar
adj.

mid-14c., "intimate, very friendly, on a family footing," from Old French famelier, from Latin familiaris "domestic, of a household;" also "familiar, intimate, friendly," dissimilated from *familialis, from familia (see family). The sense gradually broadened. Of things, from late 15c. The noun meaning "demon, evil spirit that answers one's call" is from 1580s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
Idioms and Phrases with familiar
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Cite This Source
Encyclopedia Article for familiar

in Western demonology, small animal or imp kept as a witch's attendant, given to her by the devil or inherited from another witch. The familiar was a low-ranking demon that assumed any animal shape, such as a toad, dog, insect, or black cat. Sometimes the familiar was described as a grotesque creature of fantasy, an amalgam of several creatures.

Learn more about familiar with a free trial on Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for familiar

Most English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for familiar

13
15
Scrabble Words With Friends

Quotes with familiar