• WordNet 3.6
    • n familiarity an act of undue intimacy
    • n familiarity close or warm friendship "the absence of fences created a mysterious intimacy in which no one knew privacy"
    • n familiarity usualness by virtue of being familiar or well known
    • n familiarity a casual manner
    • n familiarity personal knowledge or information about someone or something
    • ***

Additional illustrations & photos:


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: In the 19th century, craftsmen who made hats were known to be excitable and irrational, as well as to tremble with palsy and mix up their words. Such behavior gave rise to the familiar expression "mad as a hatter". The disorder, called hatter's shakes, was caused by chronic mercury poisoning from the solution used to treat the felt. Attacking the central nervous system, the toxin led to behavioral symptoms.
    • Familiarity Anything said or done by one person to another unceremoniously and without constraint; esp., in the pl., such actions and words as propriety and courtesy do not warrant; liberties.
    • Familiarity The state of being familiar; intimate and frequent converse, or association; unconstrained intercourse; freedom from ceremony and constraint; intimacy; as, to live in remarkable familiarity .
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
  • Interesting fact: Of the 2200 persons quoted in the current edition of "Bartlett's Familiar Quotations," only 164 are women.
    • n familiarity The state of being familiar, in any sense of that word; intimate knowledge; close or habitual acquaintance; free or unrestrained intercourse: followed by with before an object.
    • n familiarity An unusual liberty in act or speech from one person toward another; a freedom of conduct justified only by the most intimate relations, or exercised without warrant; an act of personal license, in either a good or a bad sense: most frequently in the plural: as, the familiarities of intimate friendship; his familiarities were repulsive.
    • n familiarity In astrol., any kind of aspect or reception. Synonyms Acquaintance, etc. (see acquaintance), familiar knowledge, fellowship, friendship, sociability. See list under affability.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Familiarity intimate acquaintanceship: freedom from constraint: any unusual or unwarrantable freedom in act or speech toward another, acts of license—usually in pl.adv. Famil′iarly
    • ***


  • Felicia D. Hemans
    Felicia D. Hemans
    “There's beauty all around our paths, if but our watchful eyes can trace it midst familiar things, and through their lowly guise.”
  • Mary Byrant
    Mary Byrant
    “Courage is the power to let go of the familiar.”
  • Alice Meynell
    Alice Meynell
    “If there is a look of human eyes that tells of perpetual loneliness, so there is also the familiar look that is the sign of perpetual crowds.”
  • Thomas Haynes Bayly
    Thomas Haynes Bayly
    “Oh! no! we never mention her, her name is never heard; my lips are now forbid to speak, that once familiar word.”
  • Francis Bacon
    “Men on their side must force themselves for a while to lay their notions by and begin to familiarize themselves with facts.”
  • John Dryden
    “All objects lose by too familiar a view.”


Familiarity breeds contempt - This means that the more you know something or someone, the more you start to find faults and dislike things about it or them.


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
OE. familarite, F. familiarité,fr. L. faniliaritas,. See Familiar
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
O. Fr. familier—L. familiaris, from familia, a family.


In literature:

He was a rabbit of a man who had never stepped out of the safe familiar boundaries of the Terran Trade City.
"The Door Through Space" by Marion Zimmer Bradley
Itzig displayed wonderful familiarity with the subject.
"Debit and Credit" by Gustav Freytag
It is a familiar dictum that one can judge of a nation pretty fairly by the position and treatment of its women.
"Villa Elsa" by Stuart Henry
There was one figure strolling about in the rear which wore a familiar look, yet I could not say I had seen the man before.
"The Black Wolf's Breed" by Harris Dickson
The gift of the Devil was sometimes a divining familiar, sometimes a domestic familiar, commonly presented at the admission ceremony.
"The Witch-cult in Western Europe" by Margaret Alice Murray
But De Foe had never approached the conception of his art which afterwards became familiar.
"Hours in a Library, Volume I. (of III.)" by Leslie Stephen
Naming familiar objects 143 3.
"The Measurement of Intelligence" by Lewis Madison Terman
These designs are familiar in many other parts of Scotland and of the world.
"The Clyde Mystery a Study in Forgeries and Folklore" by Andrew Lang
His panegyric was thought somewhat prodigal; his fluency of style somewhat too familiar; and others affected not to relish his gaiety.
"Curiosities of Literature, Vol. 1 (of 3)" by Isaac D'Israeli
It is assumed, however, that the reader is familiar with the ordinary usage of this expression.
"The Psychology of Singing" by David C. Taylor

In poetry:

We fear not now, we fear not!
Though the way thro' darkness bends;
Our souls are strong to follow them,
Our own familiar friends!
"The Departed" by Felicia Dorothea Hemans
The evening fog starts slowly setting,
Uneasy sadness brings me tears,
When every pebble on this road
Seems so familiar and dear.
"The Road" by Nikolai Stepanovich Gumilev
Dectora. O carry me
To some sure country, some familia’r place.
Have we not everything that life can give
In having one another?
"The Shadowy Waters: The Shadowy Waters" by William Butler Yeats
Lady of England--o'er the seas
Thy name was borne on every breeze,
Till all this sunset clime became
Familiar with Victoria's name.
"Lady Of England." by George Pope Morris
But, I think, the house is unaltered,
I will go and beg to look
At the rooms that were once familiar
To my life as its bed to a brook.
"The Dead House" by James Russell Lowell
But I at least should have foreseen,
When Monica to me had grown
Familiar word, that names may mean
More than by word and name is shown;
"The Door Of Humility" by Alfred Austin

In news:

Every day, Americans buy millions of products that bear the familiar U.L.
(It's the roasting that brings out the familiar sweetness in cashews .
She's a familiar presence on the news programs of TV stations KCAL 9 and CBS 2, where she's been reporting events in Orange County for more than two decades.
If the event or reception location you've chosen doesn't handle catering , or allows outside caterers , they'll probably have suggestions for caterers who are familiar with their facility.
Chances are if you use valves for throttling or modulating service, you are familiar with cavitation .
KAZAN, Russia, Nov 5— Summoned by a familiar, plaintive call, young men dazed from studying stumble from their dorm rooms with slippers on their feet and prayer on their minds.
This apple and honey challah recipe is a familiar taste of fall.
In what has become a familiar sight, Ethnic Studies supporters descended on the board meeting, attempting to disrupt it with chants .
21-Year-old Northern Irishman Rory McIlroy holds a two-shot lead after two rounds at the Masters, but the big news out of Augusta on Friday was the charge up the leaderboard by two of the tournament's most familiar faces.
But anyone familiar with the disastrous track record of charismatic political leaders around the world in the 20th century should have run for the hills when they encountered a politician with charisma .
Comedians Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele, who are familiar to fans of "MADtv" and their Comedy Central show, stop by The Post to talk about the Obamas and more.
Are you familiar with the color scheme of your aunt's apartment.
Tonawanda News — The person with a haunted past is a familiar and reliable trope in literature and film, and perhaps all of us have something about which to be haunted.
A person familiar with the city's decision says the mayor will announce the selection of Cornell and its partner, the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology.
There's also a food truck, already known to fans of catered crepes , and soon to be familiar to fans of weekday lunch crepes .

In science:

The introduction of binomial coefficients is a familiar device in order to make things work smoother.
On equations defining coincident root loci
Proof We make the proof by induction on the surface. (The reader familiar with De Bruijn’s worms will readily find a direct proof.) It is enough to prove the result for elementary cycles.
An algorithm to generate exactly once every tiling with lozenges of a domain
Given such a system, if the probability for a decay within a time interval t only depends on t and not on the history of the system, then a familiar argument in probability theory implies that the probability density for decay is exponential.
Physics with exotic probability theory
The ”propagator” equals λ, κ plays the role of the Planck constant and p1 that of an ”external current” (a pedagogical presentation for people not very familiar with field theory methods can be found in ).
Defining statistical ensembles of random graphs
The saddle point condition, identical to a familiar equation in polymer physics, is a starting point for further calculations.
Defining statistical ensembles of random graphs