Definition of familiar adjective from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//fəˈmɪliə(r)//
    ; NAmE NAmE//fəˈmɪliər//
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  1. 1  well known to you; often seen or heard and therefore easy to recognize to look/sound/taste familiar He's a familiar figure in the neighbourhood. 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 everyone who lives near a bakery. Violent attacks are becoming all too familiar (= sadly familiar). opposite unfamiliar
  2. 2  familiar with something knowing something very well an area with which I had been familiar since childhood By now you will be familiar with the one-way system in the centre of town. Are you familiar with the computer software they use? opposite unfamiliar
  3. 3familiar (with somebody) (of a person’s behaviour) very informal, sometimes in a way that is unpleasant You seem to be on very familiar terms with your tutor. After a few drinks her boss started getting too familiar for her liking.
  4. Word OriginMiddle English (in the sense ‘intimate’, ‘on a family footing’): from Old French familier, from Latin familiaris, from familia ‘household servants, family’, from famulus ‘servant’.Extra examples Her face looked strangely familiar. His face looked awfully familiar. His face was instantly familiar, even after all those years. I was now getting much more familiar with the local area. I’m not overly familiar with these issues. The kitchen smelled warm and inviting and blessedly familiar. The name sounded vaguely familiar to her. The place felt faintly familiar to me. The report’s conclusions were already familiar enough to the government. The room looked distinctly familiar. You will need to be thoroughly familiar with our procedures. a name that was somehow familiar a situation which has become all too familiar to most teachers
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: familiar

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