1. Often encountered or seen: a familiar landmark. See Synonyms at common.
2. Having fair knowledge; acquainted: Are you familiar with these roads?
3. Of established friendship; intimate: We are on familiar terms.
4. Natural and unstudied; informal: lectured in a familiar style.
5. Taking undue liberties; presumptuous: Students should not be familiar toward an instructor.
7. Domesticated; tame. Used of animals.
1. A close friend or associate.
2. An attendant spirit, often taking animal form.
3. One who performs domestic service in the household of a high official.
4. A person who frequents a place.
[Middle English, from Old French familier, from Latin familiāris, domestic, from familia, family; see FAMILY.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2022 by HarperCollins Publishers. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.