• (British) IPA: /fəˈmɪl.i.ə/
  • (GA) IPA: /fəˈmɪl.jɚ/, /fəˈmɪl.i.ɚ/, /fɚˈmɪl.jɚ/
  • (America)


  1. Known to one, or generally known; commonplace.
    there’s a familiar face; that tune sounds familiar
  2. Acquainted.
    I'm quite familiar with this system; she's not familiar with manual gears
  3. Intimate or friendly.
    we are not on familiar terms; our neighbour is not familiar
    • c. 1599–1602, William Shakespeare, “The Tragedie of Hamlet, Prince of Denmarke”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: Printed by Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358 ↗, [Act I, scene iii]:
      Be thou familiar, but by no means vulgar.
  4. Inappropriately intimate or friendly.
    Don’t be familiar with me, boy!
  5. Of or pertaining to a family; familial.
    • familiar feuds
Synonyms Antonyms Related terms Translations Translations
  • Portuguese: conhecido
  • Russian: знако́мый
Translations Translations
  • Russian: фамилья́рный

familiar (plural familiars)

  1. An attendant spirit, often in animal or demon form.
    The witch’s familiar was a black cat.
  2. (obsolete) A member of one's family or household.
  3. A member of a pope's or bishop's household.
  4. (obsolete) A close friend.
    • 1624, Democritus Junior [pseudonym; Robert Burton], The Anatomy of Melancholy: […], 2nd edition, Oxford, Oxfordshire: Printed by John Lichfield and James Short, for Henry Cripps, OCLC 54573970 ↗:
      , II.i.4.2:
      [A] friend of mine, that finding a receipt in Brassavola, would needs take hellebore in substance, and try it on his own person; but had not some of his familiars come to visit him by chance, he had by his indiscretion hazarded himself; many such I have observed.
  5. (historical) The officer of the Inquisition who arrested suspected people.
Synonyms Translations
  • French: esprit familier, familier
  • Italian: spirito famigliare, famiglio
  • Portuguese: espírito familiar, familiar
  • Russian: фамилья́р
  • Spanish: espíritu familiar, familiar

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