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 Jessica Hill/Associated Press STORRS, Conn. — The postgame tableau at Gampel Pavilion, of a disappointed Geno Auriemma analyzing what went wrong, was unfamiliar. Howard Megdal, New York Times, "Oregon Women Rout UConn at Home: ‘They’re Just Too Good’," 4 Feb. 2020 Hardly unfamiliar territory for Kansas City, which trailed Houston 24-0 and Tennessee 17-7 in the playoffs. Washington Post, "Super Rally: Mahomes, Chiefs win Super Bowl with late surge," 3 Feb. 2020 Johns’ injury — post-traumatic headaches — is relatively unfamiliar. Matthew Defranks, Dallas News, "After David Perron’s own struggles with head injuries, the Blues forward wants to help Stars’ Stephen Johns," 24 Jan. 2020 And who is this unfamiliar (or familiar) female next to Kevin? Dan Snierson, EW.com, "This Is Us producers break down Randall's 'breaking point,' Kevin's cliffhanger," 22 Jan. 2020 For those unfamiliar, the previously sold-out palette features 24 shadows and four different finishes: glitter, metallic, sequin, and matte — gotta love having options. Kaleigh Fasanella, Allure, "Tati Beauty Just Restocked Its Sold-Out Textured Neutrals Vol. 1 Palette," 15 Jan. 2020 Kway oh won’t be completely unfamiliar to soup-loving Portlanders. Michael Russell, oregonlive, "Portland is getting a new noodle shop from the owners of Top Burmese," 14 Jan. 2020 By now, Americans unfamiliar with Brit-speak or the ins-and-outs of royal doings might be wondering: What? Maria Puente, USA TODAY, "What are Harry and Meghan thinking? They don't want to be 'senior royals' anymore?," 8 Jan. 2020 Some users are still unfamiliar with the rules of the road. Bruce Selcraig, ExpressNews.com, "With crush of downtown visitors, scooter etiquette goes out the window," 1 Jan. 2020

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

10 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Unfamiliar.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/unfamiliarity. Accessed 18 Feb. 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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