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

Coincidentally, both Marsai and Nico grew up with a similar familiarity with Hollywood and the way the entertainment industry works. Claire Dodson, Teen Vogue, "Marsai Martin and Nico Parker Are Smart, Unapologetic, and Proving Grown-Ups Wrong," 21 Mar. 2019 Anybody who had some familiarity with the industry would have recognized that. Sam Wood, Philly.com, "Metropolis Farms' CEO Jack Griffin is either the farmer of the future or a fantastic fraud," 4 June 2018 This one book covers the 17 countries which comprise the West Africa region, and among them are Morocco and Nigeria, names with which most of us have some passing familiarity. Sara Clarkson, chicagotribune.com, "Clarkson: Finding local connections on the big continent of Africa," 30 May 2018 What makes the pairing unusual is that the teams have little familiarity with each other. Eddie Timanus, USA TODAY, "NCAA men's lacrosse championship preview: Yale vs. Duke," 27 May 2018 DirectTV Now and WatchTV — has given him a deep familiarity with the recent shift in how media is distributed. New York Times, "HBO Must Get Bigger and Broader, Says Its New Overseer," 8 July 2018 The daughter, Callie Wade, had more than a passing familiarity with West Africa and had done some interesting things since graduating from Hinsdale Central. Sara Clarkson, chicagotribune.com, "Clarkson: Finding local connections on the big continent of Africa," 30 May 2018 Anyone who has even a passing familiarity with science-fiction tropes knows what happens next. Kyle Orland, Ars Technica, "Detroit: Become Human review: Robotic in all of the wrong ways," 24 May 2018 The tendency toward artistic surprise on the one hand and a highly manipulative familiarity on the other came together and created the tastes and expectations of moviegoers for a generation. Stephen Metcalf, The New Yorker, "How Superheroes Made Movie Stars Expendable," 19 May 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

16 Apr 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).


not to be persuaded, moved, or stopped

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