familiar (adj.)

mid-14c., "intimate, very friendly, on a family footing," from Old French famelier "related; friendly," from Latin familiaris "domestic, private, belonging to a family, of a household;" also "familiar, intimate, friendly," a dissimilation of *familialis, from familia (see family).

From late 14c. as "of or pertaining to one's family." Of things, "known from long association," from late 15c. Meaning "ordinary, usual" is from 1590s.

The noun meaning "demon, evil spirit that answers one's call" is from 1580s (familiar spirit is attested from 1560s); earlier as a noun it meant "a familiar friend" (late 14c.). The Latin plural, used as a noun, meant "the slaves," also "a friend, intimate acquaintance, companion."

updated on September 04, 2018

Definitions of familiar from WordNet
familiar (adj.)
(usually followed by `with') well informed about or knowing thoroughly;
he was familiar with those roads
familiar with the complex machinery
Synonyms: conversant
familiar (adj.)
well known or easily recognized;
a familiar figure
familiar songs
familiar guests
familiar (adj.)
within normal everyday experience; common and ordinary; not strange;
familiar ordinary objects found in every home
a day like any other filled with familiar duties and experiences
a familiar excuse
a familiar everyday scene
familiar (adj.)
having mutual interests or affections; of established friendship;
on familiar terms
Synonyms: intimate
familiar (n.)
a person attached to the household of a high official (as a pope or bishop) who renders service in return for support;
familiar (n.)
a friend who is frequently in the company of another;
familiar (n.)
a spirit (usually in animal form) that acts as an assistant to a witch or wizard;
Synonyms: familiar spirit
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