Thesaurus

familiar

adjective

Synonyms & Antonyms of familiar

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 closely acquainted
  • the little inside jokes that people who have long been familiar like to share

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2 having information especially as a result of study or experience
  • book editors who are familiar with what is being taught in the schools

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Phrases Synonymous with familiar

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3 often observed or encountered
  • the woman and her pair of Welsh corgis were a familiar sight in the quiet neighborhood

Synonyms for familiar

Words Related to familiar

Phrases Synonymous with familiar

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Antonyms for familiar

familiar

noun

Synonyms & Antonyms of familiar (Entry 2 of 2)

1 someone who regularly spends time in a particular place
  • a longtime familiar of the bar, she would most likely have been there on the night in question

Synonyms for familiar

Words Related to familiar

2 a person who has a strong liking for and trust in another
  • with old familiars the normally reserved writer can be quite warm and funny

Synonyms for familiar

Words Related to familiar

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Antonyms for familiar

See the Dictionary Definition 

Frequently Asked Questions About familiar

How does the adjective familiar contrast with its synonyms?

Some common synonyms of familiar are common, ordinary, plain, popular, and vulgar. While all these words mean "generally met with and not in any way special, strange, or unusual," familiar stresses the fact of being generally known and easily recognized.

a familiar melody

When would common be a good substitute for familiar?

The words common and familiar can be used in similar contexts, but common implies usual everyday quality or frequency of occurrence and may additionally suggest inferiority or coarseness.

a common error

lacked common honesty

common manners

Where would ordinary be a reasonable alternative to familiar?

The words ordinary and familiar are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, ordinary stresses conformance in quality or kind with the regular order of things.

an ordinary pleasant summer day

a very ordinary sort of man

When could plain be used to replace familiar?

While the synonyms plain and familiar are close in meaning, plain is likely to suggest homely simplicity.

plain hard-working people

When is popular a more appropriate choice than familiar?

In some situations, the words popular and familiar are roughly equivalent. However, popular applies to what is accepted by or prevalent among people in general sometimes in contrast to upper classes or special groups.

a writer of popular romances

How do vulgar and popular relate to one another, in the sense of familiar?

Vulgar, otherwise similar to popular, is likely to carry derogatory connotations (as of inferiority or coarseness).

souvenirs designed to appeal to the vulgar taste

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Time Traveler for familiar

Time Traveler

The first known use of familiar was in the 13th century

See more words from the same century

Cite this Entry

“Familiar.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/familiar. Accessed 28 Oct. 2020.

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More from Merriam-Webster on familiar

Dictionary: Definition of familiar

Nglish: Translation of familiar for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of familiar for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about familiar

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