Definition of familiarity in English:


See synonyms for familiarity

Translate familiarity into Spanish

nounplural noun familiarities

  • 1Close acquaintance with or knowledge of something.

    ‘increase customer familiarity with a product’
    • ‘For one thing, the Wachowski brothers have a knowledge and familiarity with a number of ideas, concepts and philosophies that play an important part in the Matrix films.’
    • ‘Very few Japanese people ever extend their knowledge of Bulgaria beyond familiarity with its yoghurt, which has become part of the national cuisine in Japan.’
    • ‘They found no relationship between the rate of referral and physicians' knowledge, beliefs and familiarity with the effects of alternative therapies.’
    • ‘Knowledge and familiarity with the avenues of HfV transmission may mobilize nurses who question their ability or role in thwarting the virus and disease.’
    • ‘Subgroup analyses, however, indicated variation among respondents with respect to knowledge and familiarity with legumes.’
    • ‘Access, knowledge and familiarity with technology is still dividing the haves from the have-nots in an increasingly unequal world.’
    • ‘Some background familiarity with philosophy is assumed, but no detailed knowledge of texts or terminology.’
    • ‘Their ability to conduct surprise raids presupposed close familiarity with currents, beaches, and locations of population centres.’
    • ‘Skinner believes there's no way you can become a VA without several years of office experience and considerable familiarity with the necessary technology.’
    • ‘Job seekers' experience and their familiarity with the Chinese market were the focal issues for headhunters.’
    • ‘They are using the experience to gain familiarity with the technology, enter new markets, and meet new clients.’
    • ‘It may sound simple enough, but familiarity with the gear and proficiency in these basic skills is imperative when you are on top of a mountain in a howling gale.’
    • ‘The author is at her best when she showcases her extensive knowledge of black film history and her keen familiarity with technical and other aspects of film making in a variety of genres.’
    • ‘After years of familiarity with her work, I'm convinced that exact knowledge of the system makes little difference in appreciating the paintings.’
    • ‘The South and East courses always provide a challenge and increasing familiarity with the layout provides the knowledge necessary for good course management and good scores.’
    • ‘At the same time, he conducts his analysis with a dispassionate respect that evidences both his years of familiarity with Eritrea and the maturity of his knowledge.’
    • ‘The survey showed that the 456 dietitians who responded had low knowledge of regulatory processes and familiarity with new food products of biotechnology.’
    • ‘Knowledge of the signaling mechanism and familiarity with signal-related functions help one write programs more efficiently.’
    • ‘The stock of knowledge refers to a student's familiarity with the content and language of economics prior to entering a university course.’
    • ‘Familiarity with new technology increased acceptance, and this familiarity can be learned locally or taught during an experiment.’
    acquaintance with, acquaintanceship with, awareness of, experience of, insight into, conversancy with, conversance with
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1The quality of being well known; recognizability based on long or close association.
      ‘the reassuring familiarity of his parents' home’
      • ‘They effectively harness the familiarity of well-know ditties to send up celebrity culture.’
      • ‘The towers look like beacons in the stormy night, still strangely reassuring in their solidity and familiarity.’
      • ‘The measure of a joke's effectiveness is equal to the quality of its writing and delivery multiplied by the familiarity of its subject.’
      • ‘Saint-Exupéry steers the aircraft and dreams of the calming familiarities of earth.’
      • ‘St. John seems very dissatisfied and distrustful of Jane's desire for sensual comfort and calm in household familiarities to come, and blood relations.’
      • ‘It's reminiscent of Crash, but the game plays in such a massive, interactive, organic and (dare I say it) perfect way that any familiarities are a welcome reassurance, not a downfall on the developer's part.’
      • ‘From the viewpoint of the cinephile, the sense of difference is inextricable from the sensation of discovery; the strangeness, the seeming lack of ties to our own familiarities, contributes to the impact.’
      • ‘To emigrate might mean abandoning the old climbing oak, the hearth, relatives, and childhood friends-all the small town familiarities.’
      ordinariness, customariness, normality, conventionality
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2Relaxed friendliness or intimacy between people.
      ‘familiarity allows us to give each other nicknames’
      • ‘It extends to insights that come only from intimate familiarity with them, allowing connections unseen by others to be recognized and used for productive purposes.’
      • ‘It takes time - years - to build credibility and a relaxed familiarity.’
      • ‘Much of this cultural work happened at the level of emotional affinity and familiarity.’
      • ‘The effect of all this familiarity is to allow us to concentrate on the various characters and their interactions.’
      • ‘He allows no familiarity from them, forbidding them to address him in the familiar form of ‘you’ in German.’
      • ‘Correlations between perceptions of physical resemblance and social closeness and familiarity were positive and statistically significant.’
      • ‘It provides a sense of familiarity and friendliness which is hard to dismiss.’
      • ‘You lost three people who provided not only closeness and familiarity but most likely emotional support.’
      • ‘Harriman Nelson allowed his old friend the freedom of familiarity in his cabin.’
      • ‘It has become known as a lively venue, particularly in the evenings and at weekends and offers a mixture of friendliness and familiarity to its many patrons.’
      • ‘I have referred to these simply to note the closeness and familiarity which existed between the two men at the time. Mr Samant then proceeded to contact Lawrence Jones.’
      • ‘See it once and it will haunt your memory with the pleasant familiarity of an old friend.’
      • ‘Gabonese often avoid showing too much familiarity with a new acquaintance so that they won't appear disrespectful.’
      • ‘In fact, familiarity through friendship or kinship tends to expand trust that leads to cooperation only under certain conditions.’
      • ‘Love is built on friendship and familiarity and a trust that cannot come instantaneously.’
      • ‘I'm not sure he recognised me at first but when I introduced myself he greeted me with the familiarity of a family friend.’
      • ‘Lee nudged my ribs with her elbow playfully, with a friendly familiarity that surprised me.’
      • ‘On some level I suppose there's a suggestion of friendship and familiarity there that could be seen as flattering.’
      informality, casualness, ease, comfortableness, friendliness, lack of ceremony, lack of restraint, lack of reserve, naturalness, simplicity
      closeness, intimacy, attachment, affinity, friendliness, friendship, amity
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    3. 1.3Inappropriate and often offensive informality of behavior or language.
      ‘the unnecessary familiarity made me dislike him at once’
      • ‘In early May or June 2001, the North Carolina Department of Correction began a formal misconduct investigation into allegations of inappropriate interaction/undue familiarity between correctional staff and inmates at the prison.’
      • ‘We need look no further than the popular TV show "The Office" to see that too much personal fraternization and familiarity will lead to employee contempt, regardless of the talent or ineptitude of the manager.’
      overfamiliarity, presumption, presumptuousness, forwardness, boldness, audacity, cheek, impudence, impertinence, intrusiveness, disrespect, disrespectfulness
      View synonyms



/fəˌmilyˈerədē/ /fəˌmɪljˈɛrədi/


    familiarity breeds contempt
    • Extensive knowledge of or close association with someone or something leads to a loss of respect for them or it.

      ‘As the saying goes, familiarity breeds contempt, and the family that stays together eventually gets on each others’ nerves!’
      • ‘Of course familiarity breeds contempt - which may be why so many Scots rarely get to grips with their capital.’
      • ‘I think that's part of the appeal outside of this country and it might be part of the reason people turned away from us within this country, because familiarity breeds contempt.’
      • ‘But familiarity breeds contempt among wrestling fans, who want to know what a wrestler has done for them lately.’
      • ‘They say familiarity breeds contempt and I can certainly vouch for that when it comes to door-to-door salesmen.’


Middle English (in the senses ‘close relationship’ and ‘sexual intimacy’): via Old French from Latin familiaritas, from familiaris ‘familiar, intimate’ (see familiar).