Familiarity breeds contempt


The better we know people, the more likely we are to find fault with them.

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The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Idioms and Phrases with familiarity breeds contempt

familiarity breeds contempt

Long experience of someone or something can make one so aware of the faults as to be scornful. For example, Ten years at the same job and now he hates it—familiarity breeds contempt. The idea is much older, but the first recorded use of this expression was in Chaucer's Tale of Melibee (c. 1386).

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.