familiarity breeds contempt

familiarity breeds contempt


  • to start disliking something when one gets to know too much about it
  • close association causing discomfort and eventually contempt because of too much knowledge about someone or something
  • to lose respect for someone by knowing their secrets

Example Sentences

  1. The couple could not stay together long after their wedding because familiarity breeds contempt.
  2. I am now not close to my sister's family because familiarity breeds contempt.
  3. After working in the same company for so many years he hates even its name, just because familiarity breeds contempt.
  4. I know so much about that family that it is surprising I don't hate them all yet - familiarity breeds contempt.
  5. You should not go so close to any corporate's management unless you are a part of it because in this case familiarity will definitely breed contempt.


The phrase literally points out at one finding out too much about someone's shortcomings and hence generate a dislike towards them. The familiarity in this case makes it easier to not like things and have examples against the person. The origination of the phrase comes from the 1386 in the work titled "Tale of Melibee" by Chaucer. Although it is believed that the idea expressed in the phrase is older.

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