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

When everything looks the same, your brain tends to slide down into a rut of numbing familiarity. Todd Vanderwerff, Vox, "Ozark’s muddy season 2, explained in 11 incomprehensible screenshots," 1 Sep. 2018 The latter refers to products like toothpaste—low-cost products that consumers purchase again and again, usually simply out of familiarity with the brand. Samuel Axon, Ars Technica, "Only a small percentage of users buys stuff through Alexa, report claims," 7 Aug. 2018 Turner’s old protégé Rob Chudzinski installed the first NFL offense that Newton ran in 2011, and Shula carried over the terminology when he was promoted in 2013, so there’s a ton of conceptual familiarity in place. Albert Breer, SI.com, "For Andrew Luck, It All Re-Starts Here," 18 June 2018 But the dominant note is one of barroom familiarity with the heir to the throne. Charles Mcnulty, latimes.com, "Tom Hanks, Hamish Linklater and a 'Henry IV' worthy of applause," 10 June 2018 But one smaller, more frivolous piece of her argument hit me with a pang of sad familiarity: the Over-Corrective Post-Breakup Rules — vows made after a nasty breakup to never fall for anyone of the most recent ex’s particular type again. Ashley Fetters, The Cut, "The Temptation of Over-Corrective Post-Breakup Rules," 4 Apr. 2018 There is a sense of familiarity of the objects involved, but used in an unfamiliar way. Lisa Deaderick, sandiegouniontribune.com, "For this artist, sound speaks volumes," 3 Mar. 2018 Trustworthiness is based on a recent survey of U.S. Facebook users that gauged their familiarity with, and trust in, different sources of news. Bloomberg, latimes.com, "Twitter CEO pleads for ideas on how to make the social network more civil," 1 Mar. 2018 Along with the predictability comes a sense of comfort, familiarity, and accessibility. Sienna Fantozzi, House Beautiful, "Everything You Need To Know About Traditional Design," 12 Oct. 2018

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

11 Jun 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).


behavior toward others

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