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analogy

[uh-nal-uh-jee]
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noun, plural a·nal·o·gies.
  1. a similarity between like features of two things, on which a comparison may be based: the analogy between the heart and a pump.
  2. similarity or comparability: I see no analogy between your problem and mine.
  3. Biology. an analogous relationship.
  4. Linguistics.
    1. the process by which words or phrases are created or re-formed according to existing patterns in the language, as when shoon was re-formed as shoes, when -ize is added to nouns like winter to form verbs, or when a child says foots for feet.
    2. a form resulting from such a process.
  5. Logic. a form of reasoning in which one thing is inferred to be similar to another thing in a certain respect, on the basis of the known similarity between the things in other respects.

Origin of analogy

1530–40; < Latin analogia < Greek. See analogous, -y3

Synonyms

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1. comparison, likeness, resemblance, similitude, affinity. 2. correspondence.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for analogy

Historical Examples

  • Analogy in modern times only points the way, and is immediately verified by experiment.

    Timaeus

    Plato

  • Analogy was here the guide of those who speculated on this matter.

    The Story of the Heavens

    Robert Stawell Ball

  • Analogy may have for its basis the quality or value of the compound attributes.

  • Analogy may be based solely on the number of attributes compared.

  • Analogy, therefore, would point to him as the instructor of his kinsman.

    The Violin

    George Hart


British Dictionary definitions for analogy

analogy

noun plural -gies
  1. agreement or similarity, esp in a certain limited number of features or details
  2. a comparison made to show such a similarityto draw an analogy between an atom and the solar system
  3. biology the relationship between analogous organs or parts
  4. logic maths a form of reasoning in which a similarity between two or more things is inferred from a known similarity between them in other respects
  5. linguistics imitation of existing models or regular patterns in the formation of words, inflections, etca child may use ``sheeps'' as the plural of ``sheep'' by analogy with ``dog'', ``dogs'', ``cat'', ``cats'', etc
Derived Formsanalogical (ˌænəˈlɒdʒɪkəl) or analogic, adjectiveanalogically, adverbanalogist, noun

Word Origin

C16: from Greek analogia ratio, correspondence, from analogos analogous
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for analogy

n.

1540s (perhaps early 15c.), from Old French analogie or directly from Latin analogia, from Greek analogia "proportion," from ana- "upon, according to" (see ana-) + logos "ratio," also "word, speech, reckoning" (see logos). A mathematical term used in a wider sense by Plato.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

analogy in Culture

analogy

[(uh-nal-uh-jee)]

A comparison of two different things that are alike in some way (see metaphor and simile). An analogy attributed to Samuel Johnson is: “Dictionaries are like watches; the worst is better than none, and the best cannot be expected to go quite true.”

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.