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[uhn-fuh-mil-yer] /ˌʌn fəˈmɪl yər/
not familiar; not acquainted with or conversant about:
to be unfamiliar with a subject.
different; unaccustomed; unusual; strange:
an unfamiliar treat.
Origin of unfamiliar
1585-95; un-1 + familiar
Related forms
[uhn-fuh-mil-ee-ar-i-tee] /ˌʌn fəˌmɪl iˈær ɪ ti/ (Show IPA),
unfamiliarly, adverb
2. curious, novel, new. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for unfamiliarity
Historical Examples
  • Mr. Clark was a tall slender person, with glasses and an aspect of unfamiliarity with a blast-furnace environment.

    Steel Charles Rumford Walker
  • It had not taken them half an hour to bridge over the gap of unfamiliarity.

  • What wonder, then, that they were at first almost repelled by the strangeness and unfamiliarity of their new surroundings!

    An Australian Bird Book John Albert Leach
  • The unfamiliarity, even horror, of the situation can be imagined.

  • His unfamiliarity was not surprising; he had little acquaintance with the stock market.

    Fair Harbor Joseph Crosby Lincoln
  • I think that this unfamiliarity with armchair life is a misfortune.

  • Or, as Aristotle had said long before, there must be "a certain admixture of unfamiliarity," a continual slight novelty.

    Impressions And Comments Havelock Ellis
  • The sense of unfamiliarity grew upon me as I stood there watching.

  • It was, of course, some inane misunderstanding, and sprang from my unfamiliarity with the language.

    Across the Plains Robert Louis Stevenson
  • I have remarked upon the unfamiliarity of modern students of theology with Peignot's term thologie positive.

British Dictionary definitions for unfamiliarity


not known or experienced; strange
(postpositive) foll by with. not familiar
Derived Forms
unfamiliarity (ˌʌnfəˌmɪlɪˈærɪtɪ) noun
unfamiliarly, adverb
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 unfamiliarity



1590s, from un- (1) "not" + familiar. Related: Unfamiliarly.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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