American English

Definition of familiar adjective from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



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  1. 1well known to you; often seen or heard and therefore easy to recognize to look/sound/taste familiar He's a familiar figure in the neighborhood. Something about her voice was vaguely familiar. I couldn't see any familiar faces in the room. familiar to somebody The smell is very familiar to anyone who lives near a bakery. Violent attacks are becoming all too familiar (= sadly familiar). opposite unfamiliar
  2. 2familiar with something knowing something very well an area I had been familiar with since childhood By now you will be familiar with the one-way system in the center of town. Are you familiar with the computer software they use? opposite unfamiliar
  3. 3familiar (with somebody) (of a person's behavior) very informal, sometimes in a way that is unpleasant You seem to be on very familiar terms with your teacher. After a few drinks her boss started getting a little too familiar.
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: familiar

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