fa·​mil·​iar·​i·​ty | \ fə-ˌmi-lē-ˈ(y)er-ə-tē How to pronounce familiarity (audio) , -ˈ(y)a-rə-; -ˌmil-ˈyer-, -ˌmil-ˈya-rə-\
plural familiarities

Definition of familiarity

1a : the quality or state of being familiar
b : a state of close relationship : intimacy
2a : absence of ceremony : informality
b : an unduly informal act or expression : impropriety
c : a sexual liberty
3 : close acquaintance with something

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Synonyms & Antonyms for familiarity


belonging, chumminess, closeness, inseparability, intimacy, nearness



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Examples of familiarity in a Sentence

He spoke to everyone with the easy familiarity of an old friend. the elderly couple enjoys a familiarity that is the result of many years of happy marriage

Recent Examples on the Web

Some Museum patrons and trustees called us with mixed reactions – depending on their ages, familiarity with Lana Del Rey’s music, and personal language formality. BostonGlobe.com, "Norman Rockwell Museum," 14 Sep. 2019 Senior operations manager John Ferrari credits much of that to San Francisco’s zero-waste efforts and residents’ familiarity with the blue, green and black bins (for recycling, composting and landfill). Elena Shao, SFChronicle.com, "San Francisco is surviving the global recycling crisis. But it’s not easy," 9 Sep. 2019 Working in the Bahamas’ favor is U.S. residents’ familiarity with the region, Croes said. Chabeli Herrera, orlandosentinel.com, "After Hurricane Dorian, the Bahamas prepares for another hit — to its crucial tourism industry," 8 Sep. 2019 Treasure Cay seemed to be facing the disaster with a resignation that some residents attributed to two things: a deep religiousness among the Bahamian population, and a longstanding familiarity with hurricanes. New York Times, "How One Bahamian Town, Nearly Destroyed, Is Coping After Dorian," 6 Sep. 2019 To be sure, there’s a familiarity to that Heart Of Darkness setup — and Roy’s whispered, on-the-nose voiceover often adds another level of conventionality. Rachel Yang, EW.com, "First Ad Astra reviews say Brad Pitt shines in thoughtful, slightly familiar movie," 29 Aug. 2019 Annen said there’s a familiarity going into the second year of his offense. Mark Perlman, chicagotribune.com, "Pioneer Press 2019 football preview: Carmel Corsairs," 25 Aug. 2019 Allowing new players and coaches the opportunity to soak in the stadium before preseason games provided needed familiarity with the facility. Kyle Fredrickson, The Denver Post, "Broncos Stadium training camp practice draws more than 21,000 fans," 27 July 2019 Its dystopian developments intrigue through their familiarity. Hanna Kozlowska, Quartzy, "A new thriller novel offers up twisted scenarios of the tech revolution gone wrong," 28 Aug. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'familiarity.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of familiarity

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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Statistics for familiarity

Last Updated

17 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for familiarity

The first known use of familiarity was in the 13th century

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More Definitions for familiarity



English Language Learners Definition of familiarity

: the state of being familiar with something : the state of having knowledge about something
: a friendly and informal way of acting or talking


fa·​mil·​iar·​i·​ty | \ fə-ˌmil-ˈyer-ə-tē How to pronounce familiarity (audio) , -ˌmil-ē-ˈer-\
plural familiarities

Kids Definition of familiarity

1 : close friendship : intimacy
2 : good knowledge of something His familiarity with the trail was a big advantage to us.

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Comments on familiarity

What made you want to look up familiarity? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


concealment of treason or felony

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