Dictionary: FA-MIL-IAR'I-TY – FA-NAT'IC, or FA-NAT'IC-AL

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  1. Intimate and frequent converse, or association in company. The gentlemen lived in remarkable familiarity. Hence,
  2. Easiness of conversation; affability; freedom from ceremony.
  3. Intimacy; intimate acquaintance; unconstrained intercourse.


  1. To make familiar or intimate; to habituate; to accustom; to make well known, by practice or converse; as, to familiarize one's self to scenes of distress.
  2. To make easy by practice or customary use, or by intercourse.
  3. To bring down from a state of distant superiority. The genius smiled on me with a look of compassion and affability that familiarized him to my imagination. Addison.


Accustomed; habituated; made easy by practice, custom, or use.


Accustoming; rendering easy by practice, custom, or use.


  1. In a familiar manner; unceremoniously; without constraint; without formality.
  2. Commonly; frequently; with the ease and unconcern that arises from long custom or acquaintance.

FAMILIAR-SPIRIT, n. [Familiar Spirit.]

A wizard; a person supposed to have a league with the devil.


The tenets of the Familists.

FAM'I-LIST, n. [from Family.]

One of the religious sect called the Family of Love.


Pertaining to familists. Baxter.

FA'MILLE, n. [fameel; Fr.]


FAM'I-LY, n. [L. and Sp. familia; Fr. famille; It. famiglia. This word is said to have originally signified servants, from the Celtic famul; but qu.]

  1. The collective body of persons who live in one house and under one head or manager; a household, including parents, children, and servants, and as the case may be, lodgers or boarders.
  2. Those who descend from one common progenitor; a tribe or race; kindred; lineage. Thus the Israelites were a branch of the family of Abraham; and the descendants in of Reuben, of Manasseh, &c., were called their families. The whole human race are the family of Adam, the human family.
  3. Course of descent; genealogy; line of ancestors. Go and complain thy family is young. Pope.
  4. Honorable descent; noble or respectable stock. He is a man of family.
  5. A collection or union of nations or states. The states of Europe were, by the prevailing maxims of its policy, closely united in one family. E. Everett.
  6. In popular language, an order, class or genus of animals or of other natural productions, having something in common, by which they are distinguished from others; as, quadrupeds constitute a family of animals, and we speak of the family or families of plants.

FAM'INE, n. [Fr. famine, from faim; L. fames; It. fame; Sp. fame or hambre; Port. fome.]

  1. Scarcity of food; dearth; a general want of provisions sufficient for the inhabitants of a country or besieged place. Famines are less frequent than formerly. A due attention to agriculture tends to prevent famine, and commerce secures a country from its destructive effects. There was a famine in the land. Gen. xxvi.
  2. Want; destitution; as, a famine of the word of life.

FAM'ISH, v.i.

  1. To die of hunger. More generally,
  2. To suffer extreme hunger or thirst; to be exhausted in strength, or to come near to perish, for want of food or drink. You are all resolved rather to die, than to famish. Shak.
  3. To be distressed with want; to come near to perish by destitution. The Lord will not suffer the righteous to famish. Prov. x.

FAM'ISH, v.t. [Fr. affamer, from faim, hunger, L. fames, It. affamire, affamare; Sp. hambrear.]

  1. To starve; to kill or destroy with hunger. Shak.
  2. To exhaust the strength of, by hunger or thirst; to distress with hunger. The pains of famished Tantalus he'll feel. Dryden.
  3. To kill by deprivation or denial of any thing necessary for life. Milton.


Starved; exhausted by want of sustenance.


Starving; killing; perishing by want of food.


The pain of extreme hunger or thirst; extreme want of sustenance. Hakewill.

FA'MOUS, a. [L. famosus; Fr. fameux. See Fame.]

  1. Celebrated in fame or public report; renowned; much talked of and praised; distinguished in story. Two hundred and fifty princes of the assembly, famous in the congregation Num. xvi. It is followed by for. One man is famous for erudition; another, for eloquence; and another, for military skill.
  2. Sometimes in a bad sense; as, a famous counterfeiter; famous pirate.


Renowned. [An ill-formed word.] Shak.

FA'MOUS-LY, adv.

With great renown or celebration. Then this land was famously enriched / With politic grave counsel. Shak.


Renown; great fame; celebrity. Boyle.

FAM'U-LATE, v.i. [L. famula.]

To serve. [Not used.]

FAN, n. [Sax. fann; Sw. vanna; D. wan; G. wanne; L. vannus; Fr. van; Sp. and Port. abano. The word, in German and Swedish, signifies a fan and a tub, as if from opening or spreading; if so, it seems to be allied to pane, pannel. Class Bn.]

  1. An instrument used by ladies to agitate the air and cool the face in warm weather. It is made of feathers, or of thin skin, paper or taffeta mounted on sticks, &c.
  2. Something in the form of a woman's fan when spread, as a peacock's tail, a window, &c..
  3. An instrument for winnowing grain, by moving which the grain is thrown up and agitated, and the chaff is separated and blown away.
  4. Something by which the air is moved; a wing. Dryden.
  5. An instrument to raise the fire or flame; as, a fan to inflame love. Hooker.

FAN, v.t.

  1. To cool and refresh, by moving the air with a fan; to blow the air on the face with a fan.
  2. To ventilate; to blow on; to affect by air put in motion. The fanning wind upon her bosom blows; To meet the fanning wind the bosom rose. Dryden. Calm as the breath which fans our eastern groves. Dryden.
  3. To move as with a fan. The air – fanned with plumes. Milton.
  4. To winnow; to ventilate; to separate chaff from grain and drive it away by a current of air; as, to fan wheat.

FA-NAT'IC, or FA-NAT'IC-AL, a. [L. fanaticus, phanaticus, from Gr. φαινομαι, to appear; literally, seeing visions.]

Wild and extravagant in opinions, particularly in religious opinions, excessively enthusiastic; possessed by a kind of frenzy. Hence we say, fanatic zeal; fanatic notions or opinions.