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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.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


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
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(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]
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.




  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
Similes Dictionary, 1st Edition. © 1988 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.


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"
Collins Thesaurus of the English Language – Complete and Unabridged 2nd Edition. 2002 © HarperCollins Publishers 1995, 2002


The American Heritage® Roget's Thesaurus. Copyright © 2013, 2014 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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
Collins Spanish Dictionary - Complete and Unabridged 8th Edition 2005 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1971, 1988 © HarperCollins Publishers 1992, 1993, 1996, 1997, 2000, 2003, 2005


[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
Collins English/French Electronic Resource. © HarperCollins Publishers 2005


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
Collins German Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged 7th Edition 2005. © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1980 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1997, 1999, 2004, 2005, 2007


[fəˌmɪlɪˈærɪtɪ] n (knowledge) familiarity (with)conoscenza (di), dimestichezza (con); (of tone) → confidenza, familiarità, intimità
familiarity breeds contempt → dar troppa confidenza fa perdere il rispetto
Collins Italian Dictionary 1st Edition © HarperCollins Publishers 1995


(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
Kernerman English Multilingual Dictionary © 2006-2013 K Dictionaries Ltd.
References in classic literature ?
I think the characteristic by which we distinguish the images we trust is the feeling of FAMILIARITY that accompanies them.
The interest manifested by the master--I beg his pardon, the boss of the store--and the agitation among the clerks, very plainly proved that much was expected from the visit of this young lady, who was addressed, with a certain air of shop-familiarity, as Miss Halfacre--a familiarity that showed she was an habituee of the place, and considered a good customer.
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.
and as I repeated it enthusiastically, it seemed to have a certain familiarity for my ear,--as though it were the name of some famous beauty or some popular actress,--yet the exact association eluded me, and obviously it was better it should remain a name of mystery.
Yet, notwithstanding the familiarity of sailors with all sorts of curious adventure, the incidents recorded in the following pages have often served, when 'spun as a yarn,' not only to relieve the weariness of many a night-watch at sea, but to excite the warmest sympathies of the author's shipmates.
There is something about him which rather interests me, a sort of sauciness and familiarity which I shall teach him to correct.
Amongst a man's peers, a man shall be sure of familiarity; and therefore it is good, a little to keep state.
Let thy virtue be too high for the familiarity of names, and if thou must speak of it, be not ashamed to stammer about it.
A confused sensation of having suddenly lost my familiarity with the past, without acquiring any additional clearness of idea in reference to the present or the future, took possession of my mind.
Her mistress (whom she had served for a quarter of a century and more) called her "Bony." She accepted this cruelly appropriate nick-name as a mark of affectionate familiarity which honored a servant.
`Child,' says he, `I am sorry to see the familiarity which subsists between you and a fellow who is altogether unworthy of you, and I am afraid will prove your ruin.