Definition of familiar in English:


Syllabification: fa·mil·iar
Pronunciation: /fəˈmilyər


1Well known from long or close association: their faces will be familiar to many of you a familiar voice
More example sentences
  • Another local man whose voice is so familiar to listeners is news presenter Sen O'Ciobhn who has been with the station since its foundation.
  • Their brother Alan is the chief P.A. announcer at Old Trafford and his voice is familiar to many regulars who visit the famous ground.
  • His distinctive voice has long been familiar to Chinese audiences.
1.1Often encountered or experienced; common: the situation was all too familiar
More example sentences
  • But a brush with the new authorities can mean a familiar encounter over identity cards and threats.
  • The current debate around common factors feels quite familiar.
  • Well if you were vindicating your right of exclusive possession of the premises, you are in a very familiar common law area.
1.2 [predicative] (familiar with) Having a good knowledge of: ensure that you are familiar with the heating controls
More example sentences
  • Our goal is to inspire those who are already familiar with what we believe and inform those who are not.
  • Most people will be familiar with the feeling that once one has seen one Roman ruin one might as well have seen the lot.
  • It adds to the enjoyment if you are familiar with this type of story, and I admit you might be a bit lost without it.
acquainted with, conversant with, versed in, knowledgeable of, well informed in/of;
skilled in, proficient in;
at home with, no stranger to, au fait with, au courant with
informal up on, in the know about
2In close friendship; intimate: she had not realized they were on such familiar terms
More example sentences
  • A lump formed in Lexus' throat, as he watched his oldest, and most familiar confidante, and friend, slip away.
  • The old man was on familiar terms with Matusoka Tamaki.
  • Everson dropped the usual ‘Humbly report Your Levity’ and spoke to the wizard in very familiar terms.
informal, casual, relaxed, easy, comfortable;
friendly, unceremonious, unreserved, open, natural, unpretentious
2.1Informal to an inappropriate degree.
More example sentences
  • There is no room for your overly familiar, glaringly inappropriate questions.
  • I'm glad I read everyone else's reviews about the over familiar waiters, because I had a hard time convincing my boyfriend I hadn't been before when on my first time there the waiter came over, put his arm round me and said it was great to see me again.
  • Personally, I think he's a bit too familiar and a little too "nice" with all his happy hours and friendliness. But it works for him so far.
presumptuous, overfamiliar, disrespectful, forward, bold, impudent, impertinent


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1 (also familiar spirit) A demon supposedly attending and obeying a witch, often said to assume the form of an animal.
More example sentences
  • The familiar of a witch is always a black cat; and it is supposed that black cats have powers and faculties quite different from all other of the feline tribe.
  • In the early modern period both familiars and fairies were believed to possess a range of supernatural powers which were considered capable of affecting almost any aspect of human life.
  • Both familiars and fairies could appear dressed wholly in black, or wholly in white, or in any variety of colours in between.
2(In the Roman Catholic Church) a person rendering certain services in a pope’s or bishop’s household.
More example sentences
  • Familiars actually dwelling in a monastery may receive their Easter Communion in the church or chapel of the monastery.
  • In 1307, after having written the "Arbor vitae", he was chosen chaplain and familiar to Cardinal Napoleone Orsini.
3A close friend or associate.
More example sentences
  • Associating with familiars can potentially provide individuals with important benefits, including enhanced group antipredator behavior.
  • His son, James Maury, a familiar of this group, was in after years appointed first United States Consul to Liverpool by George Washington.


Middle English (in the sense 'intimate,' 'on a family footing'): from Old French familier, from Latin familiaris, from familia 'household servants, household, family', from famulus 'servant'.



More example sentences
  • I will be leaving behind a landscape I know familiarly, that I observe closely, that I love.
  • Davies followed an early yellow card with that second booking, and the 131st north London derby took on a familiarly modern pattern.
  • But now there is a new highway, familiarly known as the GT Road, and no different from any other.

Definition of familiar in:

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Pronunciation: ˈbimbəl
walk or travel at a leisurely pace