familiar Meaning in the Cambridge English Dictionary Cambridge dictionaries logo

Meaning of “familiar” in the English Dictionary

"familiar" in British English

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familiaradjective

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 ​houselooked strangely familiar, though she ​knew she'd never been there before. The ​street was familiar to me.be familiar with sth/sb B2 to ​know something or someone well: I'm ​sorry, I'm not familiar with ​yourpoetry.

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  • familiar adjective (FRIENDLY)

informal and ​friendly, sometimes in a way that does not show ​respect to someone who is not a ​familymember or ​closefriend: He ​patted her back in an ​overly familiar way. He doesn't like to be too familiar with his ​staff.
familiarly
adverb uk   us   /-li/
Chesney Baker, ​known familiarly as "Chet"

familiarnoun [C]

uk   /fəˈmɪl.i.ər/  us   /-jɚ/ old use
a ​closefriend, or a ​spirit in the ​shape of a ​cat, ​bird, or other ​animal that is the ​close companion of a witch
(Definition of familiar from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"familiar" in American English

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familiaradjective

 us   /fəˈmɪl·jər/
  • familiar adjective (KNOWN)

easy to ​recognize because ​previouslyexperienced: familiar ​sights a familiar ​face I’m not familiar with ​currentresearch in the ​field.
  • familiar adjective (INFORMAL)

informal or ​friendly, esp. more than is ​expected: Her familiar ​tone makes her writing more ​effective.
(Definition of familiar from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
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“familiar” in American English

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