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[fuh-mil-ee-ar-i-tee, -mil-yar-] /fəˌmɪl iˈær ɪ ti, -mɪlˈyær-/
noun, plural familiarities.
thorough knowledge or mastery of a thing, subject, etc.
the state of being familiar; friendly relationship; close acquaintance; intimacy.
an absence of ceremony and formality; informality.
freedom of behavior justified only by the closest relationship; undue intimacy.
Often, familiarities. an instance of such freedom, as in action or speech.
a sexual liberty or impropriety.
Origin of familiarity
1350-1400; Middle English familiarite (< Anglo-French) < Latin familiāritās intimacy. See familiar, -ity
Related forms
overfamiliarity, noun
prefamiliarity, noun
3. unconstraint. 4. liberty, freedom, license. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for familiarity
  • When it all works, innovation does come at the expense of familiarity.
  • The human mind often confuses familiarity with understanding.
  • familiarity occurs quickly, before the brain can recall the source of the feeling.
  • Even more important, however, is familiarity of the text.
  • And part is the idea that fecundity breeds familiarity-a genuine point of connection with voters.
  • familiarity with people you communicate with is so important.
  • Building confidence and familiarity so that it can become a repeatable behavior and a preferred destination.
  • It does seem odd that they would suggest you teach courses about which you have little or no knowledge or familiarity, though.
  • But beneath that veneer of familiarity hides a radical rethinking of the way engineers do business.
  • And in fact, a familiarity with the film takes the edge off the idea behind the stage version.
British Dictionary definitions for familiarity


noun (pl) -ties
reasonable knowledge or acquaintance, as with a subject or place
close acquaintanceship or intimacy
undue intimacy
(sometimes pl) an instance of unwarranted intimacy
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
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Word Origin and History for familiarity

c.1200, from Old French familiarite and directly from Latin familiaritatem (nominative familiaritas) "intimacy, friendship," from familiaris "friendly, intimate" (see familiar). Meaning "undue intimacy" is from late 14c. That of "close acquaintance" is from c.1600.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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