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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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

There’s also a lot of familiarity between the Cubs and Padres organizations, and Brad Hand would strengthen the bullpen from the left side. Mark Gonzales, chicagotribune.com, "Cubs Q&A: Do the Cubs have interest in Manny Machado? Would they deal a position player?," 9 July 2018 Past partners know some part of us that no one else ever will, and sometimes, at a moment of midlife crisis, such familiarity can bring comfort. Sylvia Brownrigg, San Francisco Chronicle, "‘My Ex-Life,’ by Stephen McCauley," 14 June 2018 Living in one home for years — or even decades — brings about a comfort and familiarity that’s difficult to duplicate. Detroit Free Press, "7 surprising perks of downsizing your home," 14 June 2018 There's no denying that the entertainment business has become increasingly wedded to the comfort and familiarity of sequels and spinoffs. Brian Lowry, CNN, "Will 'The Incredibles 2' bring more power to animated sequels?," 13 June 2018 The goal is to create a sense of community and familiarity for the patients by orienting them with a sense of direction and visual cues. Liz Stinson, Curbed, "Medieval-inspired French village is designed specifically for Alzheimer’s patients," 12 June 2018 Brown’s familiarity with developing players also plays into this decision. Sarah Todd, Philly.com, "Zhaire Smith vs. Mikal Bridges: How much did the Sixers give up in their trade?," 22 June 2018 The carnage just inside the front door of the Brumback home was shocking even for longtime homicide detectives, but there was something else that hit them almost instantly about the crime scene – a sickening familiarity. CBS News, "Was revenge the motive behind Omaha stabbing deaths?," 2 June 2018 Amukamara is optimistic that players’ familiarity with Fangio’s scheme will help. Rich Campbell, chicagotribune.com, "Takeaways would elevate the Bears defense from good to great," 18 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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Last Updated

15 Oct 2018

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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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