un·fa·mil·iar | \ˌən-fə-ˈmil-yər \

Definition of unfamiliar 

: not familiar:

a : not well-known : strange an unfamiliar place

b : not well acquainted unfamiliar with the subject

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Other Words from unfamiliar

unfamiliarity \ˌən-fə-ˌmil-ˈyer-ə-tē, -ˌmi-lē-ˈyer-, -ˈya-rə- \ noun
unfamiliarly \ˌən-fə-ˈmil-yər-lē \ adverb

Examples of unfamiliar in a Sentence

He gets nervous when he is in unfamiliar surroundings. The book is full of unfamiliar words.

Recent Examples on the Web

Rosario wasn’t unfamiliar with pitching in the confines of Dunkin’ Donuts Park. Sean Begin, courant.com, "High School Baseball: Wethersfield, Windsor Advance To Class L Final," 6 June 2018 Dean is a master of the art of summation, briskly anchoring readers who may be unfamiliar with these writers before moving on to make connections between them. Meg Waite Clayton, San Francisco Chronicle, "‘Sharp: The Women Who Made an Art of Having an Opinion,’ by Michelle Dean," 23 May 2018 That's unfamiliar terrain for Dixon, who's worst start in the four years of the IndyCar Grand Prix has been Row 4. Jim Ayello, Indianapolis Star, "Will Power on pole for IndyCar's Grand Prix: 'It's probably my favorite road course'," 11 May 2018 Mandalou’s sommelier background is equally apparent in the tightly focused wine list, which leans to Italian varietals, some of which likely will be unfamiliar to casual wine fans. Kate Washington, sacbee, "If Allora can learn to relax a little, it will be one of the city's best restaurants | The Sacramento Bee," 11 May 2018 Recreation Supervisor Meghan Fenlon said the summer gathering is a way to introduce the 4-year-old park to dog owners who might be unfamiliar with it. Dennis Sullivan, Daily Southtown, "Dog days of summer: Tinley Park district throws Beach Pawty at Canine Campus park," 9 July 2018 Many flocking to Florida are unfamiliar with our economic drivers and investment plans, and bring new perspectives that could alter the political landscape and our strategic direction. miamiherald, "Leigh-Ann Buchanan," 30 June 2018 Those who’ve never been to Hawaii may be unfamiliar with one the islanders’ favorite dishes, the loco moco. Jay Jones, latimes.com, "Where is Hawaii's best beach or best luau? Find insider tips in Hawaii Magazine's 2018 'Best of the Best' issue," 14 June 2018 The highlights abounded: CeCe Peniston brought a brief, yet clearly frustrated set to the Boulevard Stage, angered that the mostly youth crowd was unfamiliar with her material. Steven J. Horowitz, Billboard, "Kehlani, Tove Lo and Kim Petras Triumph at Pride LA 2018," 11 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'unfamiliar.' 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 unfamiliar

1594, in the meaning defined above

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Phrases Related to unfamiliar

unfamiliar with (something)

Statistics for unfamiliar

Last Updated

6 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for unfamiliar

The first known use of unfamiliar was in 1594

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More Definitions for unfamiliar



English Language Learners Definition of unfamiliar

: not frequently seen, heard, or experienced


un·fa·mil·iar | \ˌən-fə-ˈmil-yər \

Kids Definition of unfamiliar

1 : not well-known : strange an unfamiliar sight

2 : lacking good knowledge of something I'm unfamiliar with this subject.

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Comments on unfamiliar

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


to teach someone the beliefs of a group

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