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Related to familiarity: Familiarity breeds contempt


 (fə-mĭl′yăr′ĭ-tē, -mĭl′ē-ăr′-)
n. pl. fa·mil·iar·i·ties
a. Acquaintance with or knowledge of something: I have little familiarity with that software program.
b. The quality of being known from past experience: The familiarity of the buildings made us realize that we must be near the hotel.
2. Established friendship or intimacy: cooperation that came easily because of the partners' familiarity.
a. Improper or unduly intimate friendliness; forwardness: found the familiarity of the sales clerk offensive.
b. An act characterized by forwardness.


n, pl -ties
1. reasonable knowledge or acquaintance, as with a subject or place
2. close acquaintanceship or intimacy
3. undue intimacy
4. (sometimes plural) an instance of unwarranted intimacy


(fəˌmɪl iˈær ɪ ti, -mɪlˈyær-)

n., pl. -ties.
1. thorough knowledge or mastery of a thing, subject, etc.
2. the state of being familiar; friendly relationship; close acquaintance; intimacy.
3. an absence of ceremony and formality; informality.
4. freedom of behavior justified only by the closest relationship; undue intimacy; license.
5. Often, familiarities. an instance of such freedom, as in action or speech.
6. a sexual liberty or impropriety.
[1350–1400; Middle English < Latin]




  1. (The donors were as) anonymous as God —Herbert Gold
  2. (Voice) as familiar as yesterday —Wallace Stegner
  3. Everything reliable as the newly-wed suite in the Holiday Inn —Richard Ford

    The simile follows a description of a never-changing, always neat apartment in Ford’s novel, The Sportswriter.


  4. Familiar as an old mistake —Edward Arlington Robinson
  5. Familiar as a town clock —Anon
  6. (She became as snugly) familiar as his own armpit —Julia O’Faolain
  7. Familiar … as household words —William Shakespeare
  8. Familiar as light or dark —Wallace Stegner
  9. Familiar as luggage —Richard Ford
  10. Familiar as one’s own front door —Anon
  11. Familiar as one’s own face —Anon
  12. Familiar as one’s own spice shelf —Anon
  13. Familiar as the contents of one’s own broom closet —Anon
  14. Familiar as the features of the President —Dorothea Straus
  15. Familiar as the stars and stripes on the American flag —Anon
  16. Familiar … as the streets of our native town —W. H. Hudson
  17. Familiar as the voice of a favorite broadcaster —Anon
  18. Familiar … as things are familiar in dreams, like the dreams of falling to one who has never climbed —William Faulkner
  19. (The agony was as) familiar … as waking to life —Paul Theroux
  20. Familiar as warts or some birthmark —Derek Walcott
  21. Familiar like an old tale —William Shakespeare
  22. He knows my face. He reads it like a farmer reads the sky —Marianne Hauser
  23. Knew [her children’s natures] as accurately as a bugler knows the notes of réveillé —Ouida
  24. Know him like a book —Charles F. Briggs

    A variation that’s become a popular daily expression is attributed to mystery writer, Margaret Millar, who used it in her novel, The Weight of the Evidence: “I know him like I know the back of my hand.”

  25. Know it [Boston] as an old inhabitant of a Cheshire knows his cheese —Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.
  26. Know … like a rabbit knows its warren —Frank Ross
  27. (I got men that) know (these hills) like you know your wife’s geography —Ross Macdonald
  28. (A voice as) recognizable as a train whistle —Scott Simon about sports broadcaster, Harry Caray, National Public Radio, May 2, 1987
  29. Recognized (every little curve and shadow) as he would have recognized, after half a life-time, the details of a room he had played in as a child —Edith Wharton
  30. Sounds, familiar, like the roar of trees and crack of branches —Robert Frost
  31. Standardized as boilerplate paragraphs in a law office —Anon
  32. Standardized, as if put together with interchangeable parts —Philip Langdon, The Atlantic, December, 1985

    In an article entitled “Burger Shakes,” Langdon used the simile to describe cities dotted with fast-food chains.

  33. The stranger is like passing water in the drain —Margaret Laurence
  34. Stylized as the annual report message to stockholders —Anon
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.familiarity - personal knowledge or information about someone or somethingfamiliarity - personal knowledge or information about someone or something
information - knowledge acquired through study or experience or instruction
2.familiarity - usualness by virtue of being familiar or well known
usualness - commonness by virtue of not being unusual
strangeness, unfamiliarity - unusualness as a consequence of not being well known
3.familiarity - close or warm friendshipfamiliarity - close or warm friendship; "the absence of fences created a mysterious intimacy in which no one knew privacy"
friendliness - a friendly disposition
4.familiarity - a casual mannerfamiliarity - a casual manner      
informality - a manner that does not take forms and ceremonies seriously
slanginess - casualness in use of language
5.familiarity - an act of undue intimacyfamiliarity - an act of undue intimacy    
misbehavior, misbehaviour, misdeed - improper or wicked or immoral behavior


1. acquaintance, experience, understanding, knowledge, awareness, grasp, acquaintanceship The enemy would always have the advantage of familiarity with the rugged terrain.
acquaintance ignorance, inexperience, unfamiliarity
2. friendliness, friendship, intimacy, closeness, freedom, ease, openness, fellowship, informality, sociability, naturalness, absence of reserve, unceremoniousness Close personal familiarity between councillors and staff can prove embarrassing.
friendliness reserve, distance, formality
3. disrespect, forwardness, overfamiliarity, liberties, liberty, cheek, presumption, boldness He had behaved with undue and oily familiarity.
disrespect respect, constraint, propriety, decorum
"Familiarity breeds contempt"


أُلْفَه، دالَّه، تَجاوُز اللياقَهإلْمام بِ، حُسْن إطِّلاع عَلى
kumpánlegheit, óformlegheitòaî aî òekkja vel til


[fəˌmɪlɪˈærɪtɪ] N
1. [of sight, event etc] → familiaridad f
2. (= knowledge, acquaintance) → conocimiento m (with de) familiarity breeds contemptdonde hay confianza hay asco
3. (= intimacy) [of tone etc] → familiaridad f, confianza f (pej) → frescura f, exceso m de familiaridad
4. familiaritiesfamiliaridades fpl, confianzas fpl


[fəˌmɪliˈærɪti] n
[voice, sight, place, surroundings] → caractère m familier; [person] → familiarité f
familiarity breeds contempt → la familiarité engendre le mépris
(= acquaintance) familiarity with sth → connaissance f de qch
(= informality) [language, tone] → familiarité f


no plVertrautheit f
(between people) → vertrautes Verhältnis; (between colleagues etc) → ungezwungenes or familiäres Verhältnis; (of tone etc)Familiarität f; (of greeting)Freundschaftlichkeit f; (of gesture)Vertraulichkeit f, → Familiarität f; (pej: = overfriendliness) → plumpe Vertraulichkeit, Familiarität f; the familiarity with which she greeted the head waiterder vertraute Ton, in dem sie den Oberkellner begrüßte; familiarity breeds contempt (Prov) → allzu große Vertrautheit erzeugt Verachtung
usu pl (= overfriendly action)(plumpe) Vertraulichkeit


[fəˌmɪlɪˈærɪtɪ] n (knowledge) familiarity (with)conoscenza (di), dimestichezza (con); (of tone) → confidenza, familiarità, intimità
familiarity breeds contempt → dar troppa confidenza fa perdere il rispetto


(fəˈmiljə) adjective
1. well-known. The house was familiar to him; She looks very familiar (to me).
2. (with with) knowing about. Are you familiar with the plays of Shakespeare?
3. too friendly. You are much too familiar with my wife!
faˈmiliarly adverb
faˌmiliˈarity (-liˈӕ-) plural faˌmiliˈarities noun
1. the state of being familiar. I was surprised by her familiarity with our way of life.
2. an act of (too) friendly behaviour. You must not allow such familiarities.
faˈmiliarize, faˈmiliarise verb
(with with) to make something well known to (someone). You must familiarize yourself with the rules.
faˌmiliariˈzation, faˌmiliariˈsation noun
References in classic literature ?
He was usually cold and distant with men, but with all women he had a silent, grave familiarity, a special handshake, accompanied by a significant, deliberate look.
Meanwhile he held on to his modest position in a mercantile house in New Orleans, where an equal familiarity with English, French and Spanish gave him no small value as a clerk and correspondent.
Small as it was, this uncommon engine had excited the curiosity of most of the Europeans in the camp, though several of the provincials were seen to handle it, not only without fear, but with the utmost familiarity.
A kindly eyed, sad woman with a basket on her knee smiled upon Andrews with the familiarity of an old acquaintance.
Yet the laughter of her sister in advance with the Kearney brothers seemed to make the reserve with which she tried to crush further familiarity only ridiculous.
In one sense, this picture had almost faded into the canvas, and hidden itself behind the duskiness of age; in another, she could not but fancy that it had been growing more prominent and strikingly expressive, ever since her earliest familiarity with it as a child.
The merchants -- Pingree,Phillips, Shepard, Upton, Kimball, Bertram, Hunt -- these and many other names, which had such classic familiarity for my ear six months ago, -- these men of traffic, who seemed to occupy so important a position in the world -- how little time has it required to disconnect me from them all, not merely in act, but recollection It is with an effort that I recall the figures and appellations of these few.
It lasted while this visitant, at all events--and there was a touch of the strange freedom, as I remember, in the sign of familiarity of his wearing no hat--seemed to fix me, from his position, with just the question, just the scrutiny through the fading light, that his own presence provoked.
Nobody can live entirely without social intercourse; and Legree encouraged his two black satellites to a kind of coarse familiarity with him,--a familiarity, however, at any moment liable to get one or the other of them into trouble; for, on the slightest provocation, one of them always stood ready, at a nod, to be a minister of his vengeance on the other.
He attracted me by three things: his candid simplicity, his marvelous familiarity with ancient armor, and the restfulness of his company -- for he did all the talking.
In a little while familiarity modified their fears and they gave the place a critical and interested exam- ination, rather admiring their own boldness, and won- dering at it, too.
The light in the room grew softer, the fire crackled cheerily, and they talked of many things, until the old sweet sense of friendliness and familiarity crept back into Rebecca's heart.