[fuh-mil-ee-ar-i-tee, -mil-yar-]

noun, plural fa·mil·i·ar·i·ties.

thorough knowledge or mastery of a thing, subject, etc.
the state of being familiar; friendly relationship; close acquaintance; intimacy.
an absence of ceremony and formality; informality.
freedom of behavior justified only by the closest relationship; undue intimacy.
Often familiarities. an instance of such freedom, as in action or speech.
a sexual liberty or impropriety.

Origin of familiarity

1350–1400; Middle English familiarite (< Anglo-French) < Latin familiāritās intimacy. See familiar, -ity
Related formso·ver·fa·mil·i·ar·i·ty, nounpre·fa·mil·i·ar·i·ty, noun

Synonyms for familiarity

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for familiarity

Contemporary Examples of familiarity

Historical Examples of familiarity

  • There was no familiarity of manner there; the clerks liked him, but they had to defer to him and obey him.

    The Channings

    Mrs. Henry Wood

  • And his carelessness might have been due to the familiarity of the trail to the pool.

    White Fang

    Jack London

  • Just a touch of familiarity was the sole indication that we were not grown men.

    Wilfrid Cumbermede

    George MacDonald

  • I had often called her by her Christian name, but she had never accepted the familiarity.

    Wilfrid Cumbermede

    George MacDonald

  • In order to prove this, let us consider the evils produced by this familiarity.

    The History of Louisiana

    Le Page Du Pratz

British Dictionary definitions for familiarity


noun plural -ties

reasonable knowledge or acquaintance, as with a subject or place
close acquaintanceship or intimacy
undue intimacy
(sometimes plural) an instance of unwarranted intimacy
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for familiarity

c.1200, from Old French familiarite and directly from Latin familiaritatem (nominative familiaritas) "intimacy, friendship," from familiaris "friendly, intimate" (see familiar). Meaning "undue intimacy" is from late 14c. That of "close acquaintance" is from c.1600.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper