Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “familiar”

familiar

adjective uk   /fəˈmɪl.i.ər/ us    /-jɚ/

familiar adjective (EASY TO RECOGNIZE)

B1 easy to recognize because of being seen, met, heard, etc. before: There were one or two familiar faces (= people I knew). The house looked strangely familiar, though she knew she'd never been there before. The street was familiar to me.Plain and ordinaryTedious and uninspiring be familiar with sth/sb B2 to know something or someone well: I'm sorry, I'm not familiar with your poetry.AwareKnowing and learning

familiar adjective (FRIENDLY)

informal and friendly, sometimes in a way that does not show respect to someone who is not a relation or close friend: "That'll be five pounds, dear", he said in an irritatingly familiar way. He doesn't like to be too familiar with his staff.Manners and levels of formalityPolite and respectful
familiarly
adverb uk   /-li/ us  
Henry Channon, known familiarly as 'Chips'Manners and levels of formalityPolite and respectful

familiar

noun [C] uk   /fəˈmɪl.i.ər/ us    /-jɚ/ old use
a close friend, or a spirit in the shape of a cat, bird, or other animal that is the close companion of a witchFriends, acquaintances and contemporariesSouls, spirits and ghosts
(Definition of familiar from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of familiar?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Definitions of “familiar” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

stampede

When animals or people stampede, they all move quickly in the same direction, often because they are frightened.

Word of the Day

Blog

Read our blog about how the English language behaves.

Learn More

New Words

Find words and meanings that have just started to be used in English, and let us know what you think of them.

Learn More