Definition of familiarity in English:

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Pronunciation: /fəˌmilyˈerədē/

noun (plural familiarities)

1Close acquaintance with or knowledge of something: increase customer familiarity with a product
More example sentences
  • For one thing, the Wachowski brothers have a knowledge and familiarity with a number of ideas, concepts and philosophies that play an important part in the Matrix films.
  • Very few Japanese people ever extend their knowledge of Bulgaria beyond familiarity with its yoghurt, which has become part of the national cuisine in Japan.
  • They found no relationship between the rate of referral and physicians' knowledge, beliefs and familiarity with the effects of alternative therapies.
acquaintance with, awareness of, experience with/of, insight into, knowledge of, understanding of, comprehension of, grasp of, skill in, proficiency in
1.1The quality of being well known; recognizability based on long or close association: the reassuring familiarity of his parents' home
More example sentences
  • They effectively harness the familiarity of well-know ditties to send up celebrity culture.
  • The towers look like beacons in the stormy night, still strangely reassuring in their solidity and familiarity.
  • The measure of a joke's effectiveness is equal to the quality of its writing and delivery multiplied by the familiarity of its subject.
1.2Relaxed friendliness or intimacy between people: familiarity allows us to give each other nicknames
More example sentences
  • It extends to insights that come only from intimate familiarity with them, allowing connections unseen by others to be recognized and used for productive purposes.
  • It takes time - years - to build credibility and a relaxed familiarity.
  • Much of this cultural work happened at the level of emotional affinity and familiarity.
closeness, intimacy, attachment, affinity, friendliness, friendship, amity
informal chumminess
1.3Inappropriate and often offensive informality of behavior or language: the unnecessary familiarity made me dislike him at once
More example sentences
  • In early May or June 2001, the North Carolina Department of Correction began a formal misconduct investigation into allegations of inappropriate interaction/undue familiarity between correctional staff and inmates at the prison.
  • We need look no further than the popular TV show "The Office" to see that too much personal fraternization and familiarity will lead to employee contempt, regardless of the talent or ineptitude of the manager.


familiarity breeds contempt

proverb Extensive knowledge of or close association with someone or something leads to a loss of respect for them or it.
Example sentences
  • As the saying goes, familiarity breeds contempt, and the family that stays together eventually gets on each others’ nerves!
  • Of course familiarity breeds contempt - which may be why so many Scots rarely get to grips with their capital.
  • I think that's part of the appeal outside of this country and it might be part of the reason people turned away from us within this country, because familiarity breeds contempt.


Middle English (in the senses 'close relationship' and 'sexual intimacy'): via Old French from Latin familiaritas, from familiaris 'familiar, intimate' (see familiar).

Words that rhyme with familiarity

angularity, barbarity, bipolarity, charity, circularity, clarity, complementarity, granularity, hilarity, insularity, irregularity, jocularity, linearity, parity, particularity, peculiarity, polarity, popularity, regularity, secularity, similarity, singularity, solidarity, subsidiarity, unitarity, vernacularity, vulgarity

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: fa·mil·iar·i·ty

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