fa·​mil·​iar·​i·​ty | \ fə-ˌmi-lē-ˈ(y)er-ə-tē , -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

Gaylord was picked to be the sculptor for the Korean War Veterans Memorial, which was authorized by Congress in 1987, because of his artistic ability and his familiarity with the uniforms of the era, said retired Col. Washington Post, "Sculptor of Korean War memorial soldiers dies at 93," 29 Mar. 2018 Such roles often require not only familiarity with advanced computer programs but also creative minds to make use of all the data. Lauren Weber, WSJ, "The ‘Hybrid’ Skills That Tomorrow’s Jobs Will Require," 21 Jan. 2019 The Bengals’ familiarity with Joseph works in his favor. Joe Kay, The Seattle Times, "Former Broncos coach Joseph set to interview for Bengals job," 2 Jan. 2019 These seem to rule out the choice just being a matter of misunderstanding or familiarity. John Timmer, Ars Technica, "People adopt made-up social rules to be part of a group," 28 Dec. 2018 All along there were signs, chemistry, a mysterious familiarity building. Abby Aguirre, Vogue, "When Priyanka Met Nick: A Love Story," 29 Nov. 2018 The meat’s higher prices relative to other meat are a factor, but the main one is the lack of familiarity. U.S. sheep meat consumption has risen around 40% since 2011, according to Rabobank. Lucy Craymer, WSJ, "All Sheeps and Sizes: Mutton Prices Soar as More Diners Dig In," 18 Nov. 2018 Mind you, this is still something of a mongrel design: the rear of the Starling card is still set up in landscape, perhaps to retain compatibility and some level of familiarity. Vlad Savov, The Verge, "Portrait bank cards are a thing now," 27 July 2018 The three share a number of aesthetic similarities, and the effect was a pleasant sort of familiarity. Noah Johnson, GQ, "Dior, Louis Vuitton, and Alyx Plot the Future of Menswear," 27 June 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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Last Updated

19 Feb 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 , -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).


a servile follower or underling

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