Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • adjective Often encountered or seen: synonym: common.
  • adjective Having fair knowledge; acquainted.
  • adjective Of established friendship; intimate.
  • adjective Natural and unstudied; informal.
  • adjective Taking undue liberties; presumptuous.
  • adjective Familial.
  • adjective Domesticated; tame. Used of animals.
  • noun A close friend or associate.
  • noun An attendant spirit, often taking animal form.
  • noun One who performs domestic service in the household of a high official.
  • noun A person who frequents a place.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • Pertaining to a family; domestic.
  • Having, or springing from, intimate and friendly social relations; closely intimate: as, a familiar friend; familiar companionship; to be on familiar terms with one.
  • Having a friendly aspect or manner; exhibiting the manner of an intimate friend; affable; not formal or distant; especially, using undue familiarity; intrusive; forward.
  • Characterized by ease or absence of stiffness or pedantry; unconstrained.
  • Having an intimate knowledge; well knowing; well acquainted; well versed (in a subject of study): as, he is familiar with the works of Horace.
  • Well known from frequent observation, use, etc.; well understood.
  • Synonyms Close, intimate, amicable, fraternal, near.
  • noun A familiar friend; an intimate; a close companion; one long acquainted; one accustomed to another by free, unreserved converse.
  • noun A familiar spirit; a demon or evil spirit supposed to attend at call. See familiar spirit, under I.
  • noun In the Roman Catholic Church, a member of the household of the pope or of a bishop, supported at his expense, and rendering him domestic, though not menial service. The familiar must live in the diocese of his superior.
  • noun An officer of the Tribunal of the Inquisition who arrested persons accused or suspected. See inquisition.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • adjective Of or pertaining to a family; domestic.
  • adjective Closely acquainted or intimate, as a friend or companion; well versed in, as any subject of study.
  • adjective Characterized by, or exhibiting, the manner of an intimate friend; not formal; unconstrained; easy; accessible.
  • adjective Well known; well understood; common; frequent.
  • adjective Improperly acquainted; wrongly intimate.
  • adjective a demon or evil spirit supposed to attend at call.
  • noun An intimate; a companion.
  • noun An attendant demon or evil spirit.
  • noun (Court of Inquisition) A confidential officer employed in the service of the tribunal, especially in apprehending and imprisoning the accused.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • adjective Known to one.
  • adjective Acquainted.
  • adjective Intimate or friendly.
  • adjective Inappropriately intimate or friendly.
  • adjective Of or pertaining to a family; familial.
  • noun obsolete A member of one's family or household.
  • noun obsolete A close friend.
  • noun An attendant spirit often in animal form.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adjective having mutual interests or affections; of established friendship
  • adjective (usually followed by `with') well informed about or knowing thoroughly
  • adjective well known or easily recognized
  • noun a friend who is frequently in the company of another
  • noun a spirit (usually in animal form) that acts as an assistant to a witch or wizard
  • adjective within normal everyday experience; common and ordinary; not strange
  • noun a person attached to the household of a high official (as a pope or bishop) who renders service in return for support

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English, from Old French familier, from Latin familiāris, domestic, from familia, family; see family.]

Examples

  • Walker first became a name familiar to the public when she starred in the TV series Profiler.

    Jackie K. Cooper: The Protector: Deja Vu All Over Again

  • Walker first became a name familiar to the public when she starred in the TV series Profiler.

    Jackie K. Cooper: The Protector: Deja Vu All Over Again

  • However, 'blog implies that the user is certainly familiar with the term familiar enough to know it is derived from weblog or web log, but you never see 'b'log, do you? but feels some sort of anachronistic pull to demean the word with unnecessary punctuation; to say it can't stand on its own.

    I get email.

  • "He didn't invent 'method acting' (Stanislavsky did), but he made the term familiar around the world, revolutionizing the actor's art with his natural, tortured and spontaneous early performances," Seiler says.

    Celluloid Subversives

  • Seated at the head of the table the chief, or, in his absence, a representative, made the opening speech -- the address of welcome, to use the term familiar to ourselves.

    Toasts and Forms of Public Address for Those Who Wish to Say the Right Thing in the Right Way

  • "He wasn't a name familiar with me, I am told that he rejoined the News of the World in 2005, 2006, and he worked for the News of the World and many other newspapers in the late 1990s."

    Telegraph.co.uk - Telegraph online, Daily Telegraph and Sunday Telegraph

  • "He wasn't a name familiar with me, I am told that he rejoined the News of the World in 2005, 2006, and he worked for the News of the World and many other newspapers in the late 1990s."

    Evening Standard - Home

  • Finally Simon Hopkinson, a name familiar to lovers of good food writing, published The Good Cook, to go with the BBC series.

    WalesOnline - Home

  • Also featuring in Group C will be a name familiar to many New York basketball fans.

    NYT > Home Page

  • "He wasn't a name familiar with me, I am told that he rejoined the News of the World in 2005, 2006, and he worked for the News of the World and many other newspapers in the late 1990s."

    The Independent - Frontpage RSS Feed

Comments

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  • animal, magic

    February 17, 2008