- commonly or generally known or seen: a familiar sight.
- well-acquainted; thoroughly conversant: to be familiar with a subject.
- informal; easygoing; unceremonious; unconstrained: to write in a familiar style.
- closely intimate or personal: a familiar friend; to be on familiar terms.
- unduly intimate; too personal; taking liberties; presuming: The duchess disliked familiar servants.
- domesticated; tame.
- of or relating to a family or household.
- a familiar friend or associate.
- Also called familiar spirit. Witchcraft and Demonology. a supernatural spirit or demon, often in the form of an animal, supposed to serve and aid a witch or other individual.
- Roman Catholic Church.
- an officer of the Inquisition, employed to arrest accused or suspected persons.
- a person who belongs to the household of the pope or of a bishop, rendering domestic though not menial service.
Origin of familiar
SynonymsSee more synonyms for familiar on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for familiar
When ‘Downton Abbey’ returns Sunday night, its fashion fans are in for a familiar treat.What Downton’s Fashion Really Means
January 2, 2015
In the midst of the clubbiness, there is a heimishe (Yiddish for familiar, old school) quality.
More than bawdy, though, The Ball adds a familiar unpretentiousness to trendy locales like Tao, Lavo, The Park, and Dream Hotel.
New York—and Brooklyn in particular—was familiar turf for Brinsley.Alleged Cop Killer Ismaaiyl Brinsley Had a Death Wish
December 22, 2014
But Kent will not let us off the familiar horror hook so easily.Grief: The Real Monster in The Babadook
December 19, 2014
The tune was familiar to her in happier days, and she listened to it with tears.Philothea
Lydia Maria Child
His frank, familiar manner made him a favorite on shipboard.Brave and Bold
Mr. Gladstone knew what books he had and was familiar with their contents.The Grand Old Man
Richard B. Cook
"Listen, Dick," said he, using the familiar name for the first time.Viviette
William J. Locke
His name, once the most familiar, was forgotten in the list of American bards.Biographical Sketches
- well-known; easily recognizeda familiar figure
- frequent or customarya familiar excuse
- (postpositive foll by with) acquainted
- friendly; informal
- close; intimate
- more intimate than is acceptable; presumptuous
- an archaic word for familial
- Also called: familiar spirit a supernatural spirit often assuming animal form, supposed to attend and aid a witch, wizard, etc
- a person, attached to the household of the pope or a bishop, who renders service in return for support
- an officer of the Inquisition who arrested accused persons
- a friend or frequent companion
Word Origin and History for familiar
mid-14c., "intimate, very friendly, on a family footing," from Old French famelier, from Latin familiaris "domestic, of a household;" also "familiar, intimate, friendly," dissimilated from *familialis, from familia (see family). The sense gradually broadened. Of things, from late 15c. The noun meaning "demon, evil spirit that answers one's call" is from 1580s.
Idioms and Phrases with familiar
see have a familiar ring.