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

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Other Words from unfamiliar

unfamiliarity \ ˌən-​fə-​ˌmil-​ˈyer-​ə-​tē How to pronounce unfamiliarity (audio) , -​ˌmi-​lē-​ˈyer-​ , -​ˈya-​rə-​ \ noun
unfamiliarly \ ˌən-​fə-​ˈmil-​yər-​lē How to pronounce unfamiliarly (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

One day later at an energy conference, Hollub, then unfamiliar with Chevron's impending deal, reiterated Oxy's interest in Anadarko to Walker. Jordan Blum, Houston Chronicle, "Oxy's pursuit of Anadarko - two years in the making," 7 June 2019 Appearing in their fifth consecutive NBA Finals, the Golden State Warriors find themselves in an unfamiliar position -- behind in the series. Kevin Dotson, CNN, "The FIFA Women's World Cup kicks off a big sports weekend featuring the Belmont Stakes and NHL Stanley Cup Final," 7 June 2019 Lauren Richards, 25, first called 911 just after midnight May 25 and told them someone unfamiliar was outside her Tampa Bay area home, WFLA reported. Fox News, "Florida mom holds suspected intruder at gunpoint for 26 minutes," 5 June 2019 Job one here is to fix the overplaying, which is not an unfamiliar issue at Strawdog. Chris Jones, chicagotribune.com, "Strawdog Theatre's 'Take Me' has music by Jon Langford and a story of alien conspiracy theories," 4 June 2019 Don't let the name fool you: some of its content is decidedly unfamiliar. Sam Machkovech, Ars Technica, "Call of Duty: Modern Warfare," 30 May 2019 For those unfamiliar with the newer games, Mimikyu is a Pokémon that disguises itself as a Pikachu to make friends. Gabe Bergado, Teen Vogue, ""Pokémon Detective Pikachu" Star Justice Smith on the Power of Representation, Fans Dressing Up as Tim Goodman, and Sequel Ideas," 17 May 2019 For those unfamiliar, the Invictus Games is an international adaptive sport competition for wounded servicemen, women, and veterans, which Prince Harry founded in 2014. Caroline Hallemann, Town & Country, "A Royal Photographer Opens Up About Prince Harry's First Day at Work as a New Dad," 9 May 2019 For those unfamiliar, AHA stands for alpha hydroxy acids and includes glycolic, lactic, and citric acids. Devon Abelman, Allure, "Kyla Massie of K-Pop Group Pristin Shares Her Favorite Skin-Care Products on Twitter," 8 May 2019

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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Statistics for unfamiliar

Last Updated

16 Jun 2019

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 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.

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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).


having a desire to acquire more things

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