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

  • adj. Often encountered or seen. See Synonyms at common.
  • adj. Having fair knowledge; acquainted: was familiar with those roads.
  • adj. Of established friendship; intimate: on familiar terms.
  • adj. Natural and unstudied; informal: lectured in a familiar style.
  • adj. Taking undue liberties; presumptuous: Students should not be familiar toward an instructor.
  • adj. Familial.
  • adj. Domesticated; tame. Used of animals.
  • n. A close friend or associate.
  • n. An attendant spirit, often taking animal form.
  • n. One who performs domestic service in the household of a high official.
  • n. A person who frequents a place.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

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

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

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

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • 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.
  • n. A familiar friend; an intimate; a close companion; one long acquainted; one accustomed to another by free, unreserved converse.
  • n. A familiar spirit; a demon or evil spirit supposed to attend at call. See familiar spirit, under I.
  • n. 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.
  • n. An officer of the Tribunal of the Inquisition who arrested persons accused or suspected. See inquisition.

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

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


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.


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  • Nice to meet you, he told her, looking for some sign that she found the name familiar.



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