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 Those unfamiliar with Bonhoeffer will be left wanting to know more details about the man whom the Nazis executed in April 1945. Dwight Weingarten, The Christian Science Monitor, "Dietrich Bonhoeffer prayed, wrote, and resisted Hitler from this house," 2 Apr. 2020 For those unfamiliar with the show, two competitors, side by side on similar obstacle courses, vie to see who can complete their course fastest and be the first to press the buzzer at its conclusion. cleveland, "South Euclid boy to appear March 21 on ‘American Ninja Warrior Junior’ TV show," 11 Mar. 2020 For those unfamiliar with the term, stagflation was a major problem for the US economy in the 1970s, when there was an oil shock and surging prices for gas. Paul R. La Monica, CNN, "The coronavirus economic 'disaster' scenario: Stagflation," 10 Mar. 2020 For lawyers unfamiliar with forensic psychology, that can be hard, especially for public defenders working with limited resources. Sara Harrison, Wired, "A New Study Challenges the Reliability of Court Psych Exams," 2 Mar. 2020 His appetite for new experiences—as well as new foods and wines—drove him to stock his stores with an unconventional mix of products unfamiliar to many shoppers at... Jaewon Kang, WSJ, "Trader Joe’s Founder Brought Exotic Foods to U.S. Shoppers," 29 Feb. 2020 Nick Saban and Alabama are going to begin the New Year in an unfamiliar place. Joseph Goodman | Jgoodman@al.com, al, "With a new decade, there is a new king of college football," 23 Dec. 2019 If a coworker is sharing an experience or opinion that is unfamiliar don’t shut it down. Fortune, "Your Social Network Isn’t Diverse Enough," 19 Dec. 2019 Borrowers are typically unfamiliar with the courts and can’t afford to hire lawyers; collectors deal with dozens of cases every month. Anjali Tsui, ProPublica, "They Loan You Money. Then They Get a Warrant for Your Arrest.," 3 Dec. 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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Time Traveler for unfamiliar

Time Traveler

The first known use of unfamiliar was in 1594

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Statistics for unfamiliar

Last Updated

6 Apr 2020

Cite this Entry

“Unfamiliar.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/unfamiliar. Accessed 7 Apr. 2020.

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More Definitions for unfamiliar


How to pronounce unfamiliar (audio)

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

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