Definition of unfamiliar in English:



  • 1Not known or recognized.

    ‘his voice was unfamiliar to her’
    • ‘In fact since I've been a father that kind of thing has become so unfamiliar to me that a trip to the salon is a positively intoxicating experience.’
    • ‘It wasn't as if he was speaking Gaelic, his first language, simply that his Lewis lilt was unfamiliar to the point of incomprehension.’
    • ‘In trying to fill that gap, Becca lands herself and her family in a situation that won't be entirely unfamiliar to many readers.’
    • ‘The seasons, frighteningly unfamiliar to your average cook, are second nature to Susan and Margaret.’
    • ‘If the name is unfamiliar to you perhaps his childhood nickname, Mundy, will jog your memory.’
    • ‘The train arrived and left on time, and ploughed through Essex and out into Suffolk at speeds unfamiliar to us weekday travellers.’
    • ‘Many of the newly coined words have their roots in Latin, a language unfamiliar to Bulgarian children.’
    • ‘He sang three songs which were all unfamiliar to the audience.’
    • ‘Listeners unfamiliar to a sort of indie sound, would think that the band was only rehearsing.’
    • ‘The exam questions had been set in Britain and a number were quite unfamiliar to what the students had been learning in school.’
    • ‘Perhaps it is comforting to us to believe that such awful inhumanity is occurring in a land unfamiliar to us.’
    • ‘Being a teenager in Israel brings with it a reality unfamiliar to many adolescents in other countries.’
    • ‘His name is probably unfamiliar to most Indonesians because he lived during the Dutch colonial times.’
    • ‘She looks forward to immersing herself in the life's work of many an author unfamiliar to her, and plans to read prodigiously.’
    • ‘Some of these names may be unfamiliar to you, and I'll explain why they deserve inclusion.’
    • ‘Until Saturday the crew of Columbia were unfamiliar to most of us.’
    • ‘The long, sharp-edged yellow and red curves of the buds were unfamiliar to me.’
    • ‘It will depend on the ability of Canberra bureaucrats to come to terms with problems that are totally unfamiliar to them.’
    • ‘The success of the riders was particularly significant given the fact that they had to compete on a horse unfamiliar to each of them.’
    • ‘In media, humans are not known to associate well with aliens or strange beings that seem unfamiliar to them.’
    unknown, new, strange, queer, foreign, alien, unheard of, beyond someone's ken
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    1. 1.1Unusual or uncharacteristic.
      ‘the yellow taxicab was an unfamiliar sight on these roads’
      • ‘People looked up at a city normally blazing with light and enjoyed the unfamiliar experience of being able to see the stars in the sky.’
      • ‘The unfamiliar sight of these flimsy crowded vessels shocked Australian audiences and awakened old fears of the yellow hordes.’
      • ‘He looked around and caught sight of an unfamiliar shine behind the building.’
      • ‘She smiled at him, a smile that was unfamiliar, unusual, almost predatory.’
      • ‘He gulped, looking up at this new and unfamiliar sight, slowly growing frightened at what it could mean.’
      • ‘The ubiquitous house sparrow may soon become an unfamiliar sight in the region the RSPB has warned.’
      • ‘Divorced men adopt different strategies to deal with this unfamiliar world.’
      • ‘But at the same time the moods are unfamiliar to that setting and context.’
      • ‘It's like walking into a different time, the place is so unfamiliar.’
      • ‘As the hall emptied, the unfamiliar sight of raindrops falling on Morawa was seen.’
      • ‘Then she crackled her knuckles and darted out into the Meadow, where she was greeted with an unfamiliar sight.’
      • ‘There is no suggestion that there was anything unusual or unfamiliar about that.’
      unusual, uncommon, unconventional, novel, different, exotic, alternative, unorthodox, odd, peculiar, curious, atypical, uncharacteristic, unwonted, abnormal, anomalous, aberrant, out of the ordinary
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    2. 1.2[predicative]Not having knowledge or experience of.
      ‘the organization was set up to advise people who might be unfamiliar with legal procedures’
      • ‘Researchers are often unfamiliar with intellectual property issues and chafe at patenting hurdles.’
      • ‘But, lucky me, since I have only recently acquired my license, I am still unfamiliar with the roads.’
      • ‘No researcher in psychology should be unfamiliar with this article and its contents.’
      • ‘This summary serves as a worthy initiation for any reader unfamiliar with the recent work done in this field.’
      • ‘And many mature drivers are unfamiliar with legal requirement to wear a belt - front and rear.’
      • ‘I was surprised that in a recent column you seemed unfamiliar with using mustard for leg cramps.’
      • ‘It hasn't been updated in a while, but it's worth a look for those unfamiliar with recently introduced speed limits.’
      • ‘He said that he was unfamiliar with the recent history of Irish telecoms regulation.’
      • ‘He was content to remain totally unfamiliar with the vicissitudes of experimental research.’
      • ‘What is more, I am unfamiliar with the English legal system.’
      • ‘She was born in America at the time, and so his mother was unfamiliar with the procedure.’
      unacquainted with, unused to, unaccustomed to, unconversant with, unpractised in, inexperienced in, unskilled in, unversed in, uninformed about, unenlightened about, ignorant of, uninitiated in, new to, fresh to, strange to, a stranger to, unaware of
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