1. not familiar; not acquainted with or conversant about: to be unfamiliar with a subject.
  2. different; unaccustomed; unusual; strange: an unfamiliar treat.

Origin of unfamiliar

First recorded in 1585–95; un-1 + familiar
Related formsun·fa·mil·i·ar·i·ty [uhn-fuh-mil-ee-ar-i-tee] /ˌʌn fəˌmɪl iˈær ɪ ti/, nounun·fa·mil·iar·ly, adverb

Synonyms for unfamiliar

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

Examples from the Web for unfamiliarities

Historical Examples of unfamiliarities

  • He seemed to be groping for some clew, some familiar sign that would resolve all the unfamiliarities to old acquaintance.

    The Innocent Adventuress

    Mary Hastings Bradley

British Dictionary definitions for unfamiliarities


  1. not known or experienced; strange
  2. (postpositive foll by with) not familiar
Derived Formsunfamiliarity (ˌʌnfəˌmɪlɪˈærɪtɪ), noununfamiliarly, adverb
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 unfamiliarities



1590s, from un- (1) "not" + familiar. Related: Unfamiliarly.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper