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FAMIL'IAR, adjective famil'yar. [Latin familiaris, familia, family, which see.]

1. Pertaining to a family; domestic.

2. Accustomed by frequent converse; well acquainted with; intimate; close; as a familiar friend or companion.

3. Affable; not formal or distant; easy in conversation.

Be thou familiar but by no means vulgar.

4. Well acquainted with; knowing by frequent use. Be familiar with the scriptures.

5. Well known; learned or well understood by frequent use. Let the scriptures be familiar to us.

6. Unceremonious; free; unconstrained; easy. The emperor conversed with the gentleman in the most familiar manner.

7. Common; frequent and intimate. By familiar intercourse, strong attachments are soon formed.

8. Easy; unconstrained; not formal. His letters are written in a familiar style.

He sports in loose familiar strains.

9. Intimate in an unlawful degree.

A poor man found a priest familiar with his wife.


1. An intimate; a close companion; one long acquainted; one accustomed to another by free, unreserved converse.

All my familiars watched for my halting. Jeremiah 20:10.

2. A demon or evil spirit supposed to attend at a call. But in general we say, a familiar spirit.

3. In the court of Inquisition, a person who assists in apprehending and imprisoning the accused.