Hypertext Webster Gateway: "familiar"

From Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913) (web1913)

Familiar \Fa*mil`iar\, a. [OE. familer, familier, F. familier,
fr. L. familiaris, fr. familia family. See {Family}.]
1. Of or pertaining to a family; domestic. ``Familiar
feuds.'' --Byron.

2. Closely acquainted or intimate, as a friend or companion;
well versed in, as any subject of study; as, familiar with
the Scriptures.

3. Characterized by, or exhibiting, the manner of an intimate
friend; not formal; unconstrained; easy; accessible. ``In
loose, familiar strains.'' --Addison.

Be thou familiar, but by no means vulgar. --Shak.

4. Well known; well understood; common; frequent; as, a
familiar illustration.

That war, or peace, or both at once, may be As
things acquainted and familiar to us. --Shak.

There is nothing more familiar than this. --Locke.

5. Improperly acquainted; wrongly intimate. --Camden.

{Familiar spirit}, a demon or evil spirit supposed to attend
at call. --1 Sam. xxviii. 3, 7-9.

From Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913) (web1913)

Familiar \Fa*mil"iar\, n.
1. An intimate; a companion.

All my familiars watched for my halting. --Jer. xx.

2. An attendant demon or evil spirit. --Shak.

3. (Court of Inquisition) A confidential officer employed in
the service of the tribunal, especially in apprehending
and imprisoning the accused.

From WordNet (r) 1.7 (wn)

adj 1: well known or easily recognized; not unfamiliar; "a familiar
figure"; "familiar songs"; "familiar guests" [ant: {unfamiliar}]
2: within normal everyday experience; common and ordinary; not
strange; "familiar ordinary objects found in every home";
"a familiar everyday scene"; "a familiar excuse"; "a day
like any other filled with familiar duties and
experiences" [ant: {strange}]
3: (usually followed by `with') well informed about or knowing
thoroughly; "conversant with business trends"; "familiar
with the complex machinery"; "he was familiar with those
roads" [syn: {conversant(p)}, {familiar(p)}]
4: having mutual interests or affections; of established
friendship; "on familiar terms"; "pretending she is on an
intimate footing with those she slanders" [syn: {intimate}]
n 1: a person attached to the household of a high official (as a
pope or bishop) who renders service in return for
2: a person who is frequently in the company of another;
"drinking companions"; "comrades in arms" [syn: {companion},
{comrade}, {fellow}, {associate}]
3: a spirit (usually in animal form) that acts as an assistant
to a witch or wizard [syn: {familiar spirit}]

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