Familiarity breeds contempt



The better we know people, the more likely we are to find fault with them.
Long experience of someone or something can make one so aware of the faults as to be scornful. For example, Ten years at the same job and now he hates it—familiarity breeds contempt. The idea is much older, but the first recorded use of this expression was in Chaucer’s Tale of Melibee (c. 1386).

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  • Familiarization

    [fuh-mil-yuh-rahyz] /fəˈmɪl yəˌraɪz/ verb (used with object), familiarized, familiarizing. 1. to make (onself or another) well-acquainted or conversant with something. 2. to make (something) well-known; bring into common knowledge or use. 3. Archaic. to make ; establish (a person) in friendly intimacy. verb (used without object), familiarized, familiarizing. 4. Archaic. to associate in a way. […]

  • Familiarize

    [fuh-mil-yuh-rahyz] /fəˈmɪl yəˌraɪz/ verb (used with object), familiarized, familiarizing. 1. to make (onself or another) well-acquainted or conversant with something. 2. to make (something) well-known; bring into common knowledge or use. 3. Archaic. to make ; establish (a person) in friendly intimacy. verb (used without object), familiarized, familiarizing. 4. Archaic. to associate in a way. […]



  • Familiarized

    [fuh-mil-yuh-rahyz] /fəˈmɪl yəˌraɪz/ verb (used with object), familiarized, familiarizing. 1. to make (onself or another) well-acquainted or conversant with something. 2. to make (something) well-known; bring into common knowledge or use. 3. Archaic. to make ; establish (a person) in friendly intimacy. verb (used without object), familiarized, familiarizing. 4. Archaic. to associate in a way. […]

  • Familiarly

    [fuh-mil-yer] /fəˈmɪl yər/ adjective 1. commonly or generally known or seen: a familiar sight. 2. well-acquainted; thoroughly conversant: to be familiar with a subject. 3. informal; easygoing; unceremonious; unconstrained: to write in a familiar style. 4. closely intimate or personal: a familiar friend; to be on familiar terms. 5. unduly intimate; too personal; taking liberties; […]



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