un·​fa·​mil·​iar | \ ˌən-fə-ˈmil-yər How to pronounce unfamiliar (audio) \

Definition of unfamiliar

: not familiar:
a : not well-known : strange an unfamiliar place
b : not well acquainted unfamiliar with the subject

Other Words from unfamiliar

unfamiliarity \ ˌən-​fə-​ˌmil-​ˈyer-​ə-​tē How to pronounce unfamiliar (audio) , -​ˌmi-​lē-​ˈyer-​ , -​ˈya-​rə-​ \ noun
unfamiliarly \ ˌən-​fə-​ˈmil-​yər-​lē How to pronounce unfamiliar (audio) \ 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 Many government officials and business owners are still unfamiliar with the holiday, said Patty Archer, president of the Miramar Pembroke Pines Regional Chamber of Commerce. Lois K. Solomon, Sun Sentinel, 16 June 2022 But a little market research revealed that most Americans are still unfamiliar with the milk tea-tapioca ball combo. Sam Deanstaff Writer, Los Angeles Times, 16 June 2022 About 25% of women did not know when perimenopause (the transitional time around menopause) typically starts, and 31% were unfamiliar with their treatment options. Alexa Mikhail, Fortune, 15 June 2022 And it was shown to Northern audiences who were both unfamiliar with the peculiar nature of this brutality and disgusted by their introduction to it. The New Yorker, 4 June 2022 The angst accompanying the early-season travails of the White Sox is not unfamiliar. Paul Sullivan, Chicago Tribune, 22 May 2022 This California combo of the old and the new, the familiar and the unfamiliar, could make for a fascinating race Sunday at Auto Club Speedway when NASCAR's West Coast swing gets underway. Greg Beacham, ajc, 26 Feb. 2022 The variation occurred whether the stimuli originated from the familiar or unfamiliar language. People Staff, PEOPLE.com, 6 Jan. 2022 But with Stacey’s Extraordinary Words, the avid writer is tapping into a childhood passion and entering into a familiar, yet unfamiliar, world of children’s literature. Tanya Christian, Glamour, 17 Dec. 2021 See More

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.

First Known Use of unfamiliar

1594, in the meaning defined above

Learn More About unfamiliar

Time Traveler for unfamiliar

Time Traveler

The first known use of unfamiliar was in 1594

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near unfamiliar




See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for unfamiliar

Last Updated

29 Jun 2022

Cite this Entry

“Unfamiliar.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/unfamiliar. Accessed 3 Jul. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for unfamiliar


un·​fa·​mil·​iar | \ ˌən-fə-ˈmil-yər How to pronounce unfamiliar (audio) \

Kids Definition of unfamiliar

1 : not well-known : strange an unfamiliar sight
2 : lacking good knowledge of something I'm unfamiliar with this subject.

More from Merriam-Webster on unfamiliar

Nglish: Translation of unfamiliar for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of unfamiliar for Arabic Speakers


Test Your Vocabulary

Which Word Does Not Belong?

  • one green toy robot amidst many red toy robots
  • Which of these words does not mean "nonsense"?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!