familiar spirit

Also found in: Thesaurus, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.


(fəˈmɪl yər)

1. commonly or generally known or seen: a familiar sight.
2. well-acquainted: to be familiar with a subject.
3. informal: to write in a familiar style.
4. closely personal: to be on familiar terms.
5. unduly intimate: The duchess complained of familiar servants.
6. domesticated; tame.
7. of or pertaining to a family or household.
8. a familiar friend or associate.
9. a supernatural spirit or demon supposed to attend a person or another demon, often in the form of an animal.
10. a domestic employed by a bishop, seminary, etc.
[1300–50; Middle English famulier < Middle French < Latin familiāris of a household (see family, -ar1)]
fa•mil′iar•ly, adv.
fa•mil′iar•ness, n.
syn: familiar, confidential, intimate suggest a friendly relationship between persons, based on frequent association, common interests, etc. familiar suggests an easygoing and unconstrained relationship between persons who are well-acquainted: on familiar terms with one's neighbors. confidential implies a sense of mutual trust that extends to the sharing of confidences and secrets: a confidential adviser. intimate connotes a very close and warm relationship characterized by empathy and sharing of private thoughts: intimate letters to a friend.
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.familiar spirit - a spirit (usually in animal form) that acts as an assistant to a witch or wizard
disembodied spirit, spirit - any incorporeal supernatural being that can become visible (or audible) to human beings
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
References in classic literature ?
The flowers were like new acquaintances; she approached them in a familiar spirit, and made herself at home among them.
And the cathedral did indeed seem a docile and obedient creature beneath his hand; it waited on his will to raise its great voice; it was possessed and filled with Quasimodo, as with a familiar spirit. One would have said that he made the immense edifice breathe.
It was likewise affirmed that a familiar spirit or demon abode behind the blackness of the picture, and had shown himself, at seasons of public calamity, to more than one of the royal governors.
Then Mr Boffin, with his stick at his ear, like a Familiar Spirit explaining the office to him, sat staring at a little bookcase of Law Practice and Law Reports, and at a window, and at an empty blue bag, and at a stick of sealing-wax, and a pen, and a box of wafers, and an apple, and a writing-pad--all very dusty--and at a number of inky smears and blots, and at an imperfectly-disguised gun-case pretending to be something legal, and at an iron box labelled HARMON ESTATE, until Mr Lightwood appeared.
The natives believed that Tietjens was a familiar spirit, and treated her with the great reverence that is born of hate and fear One room in the bungalow was set apart for her special use.
Some narrators of this legend hold the opinion that Mother Rigby's conjurations and the fierceness of her will had compelled a familiar spirit into the figure, and that the voice was his.
Am I a witch; and are they my familiar spirits? Remember how few amusements I have, and you will not wonder why I devote myself to teaching these pretty creatures their tricks, and attaching them to me like dogs!
- Come, my familiar spirits! Come, my cat children!
And when, in speech with each other, they expanded their blubber lips, and showed their white fangs, as if they grinned at the thoughts of the expected tragedy, the startled commons could scarcely help believing that they were actually the familiar spirits with whom the witch had communed, and who, her time being out, stood ready to assist in her dreadful punishment.
In the ritual Yok Luj succeeded in calling the familiar spirit (gunig), which appeared in the form of the tiger gunig, and Yok Luj was pronounced a halaa?.
If the orchestra feel they have a leader who knows the score inside out, that will make a big difference." Then she adds, in the familiar spirit of perfectionism, "You can never know your score too well.