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like1

[lahyk]
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adjective, (Poetic) lik·er, lik·est.
  1. of the same form, appearance, kind, character, amount, etc.: I cannot remember a like instance.
  2. corresponding or agreeing in general or in some noticeable respect; similar; analogous: drawing, painting, and like arts.
  3. bearing resemblance.
  4. Dialect. likely or probable: 'Tis like that he's gone mad.
  5. Dialect. about; almost ready, as to perform some action: The poor chap seemed like to run away.
preposition
  1. in like manner with; similarly to; in the manner characteristic of: He works like a beaver.
  2. resembling (someone or something): He is just like his father. Your necklace is just like mine.
  3. characteristic of: It would be like him to forget our appointment.
  4. as if there is promise of; indicative of: It looks like rain.
  5. as if someone or something gives promise of being: She looks like a good prospect for the job.
  6. disposed or inclined to (usually preceded by feel): to feel like going to bed.
  7. similar or comparable to: There is nothing like a cold drink of water when one is thirsty. What was he like?
  8. (used correlatively to indicate similarity through relationship): like father, like son.
  9. (used to establish an intensifying, often facetious, comparison): sleeping like a log.
  10. as; such as: There are numerous hobbies you might enjoy, like photography or painting.
adverb
  1. nearly; closely; approximately: The house is more like 40 than 20 years old.
  2. Informal. likely or probably: Like enough he'll come with us. Like as not her leg is broken.
  3. Nonstandard.
    1. as it were; in a way; somehow: I did it like wrong.
    2. to a degree; more or less: standing against the wall, looking very tough like.
conjunction
  1. in the same way as; just as; as: It happened like you might expect it would.
  2. as if: He acted like he was afraid. The car runs like new.
  3. Informal. (used especially after forms of be to introduce reported speech or thought): She's like, "I don't believe it," and I'm like, "No, it's true!"
noun
  1. a similar or comparable person or thing, or like persons or things; counterpart, match, or equal (usually preceded by a possessive adjective or the): No one has seen his like in a long time. Like attracts like.
  2. kind; sort; type; ilk (usually preceded by a possessive adjective): I despise moochers and their like.
  3. the like, something of a similar nature: They grow oranges, lemons, and the like.
interjection
  1. Informal. (used especially in speech, often nonvolitionally or habitually, to preface a sentence, to fill a pause, to express uncertainty, or to intensify or neutralize a following adjective): Like, why didn't you write to me? The music was, like, really great, you know?
Idioms
  1. like anything, Informal. very much; extremely; with great intensity: He wanted like anything to win.
  2. like to, South Midland and Southern U.S. was on the verge of or came close to (doing something): The poor kid like to froze.Also liked to.
  3. something like, Informal. something approaching or approximating: It looked something like this.
  4. the like/likes of, someone or something similar to; the equal of: I've never seen the like of it anywhere.

Origin of like1

1150–1200; Middle English lic, lik < Old Norse līkr; replacing Old English gelīc, cognate with Dutch gelijk, German gleich, Old Norse glīkr, Gothic galeiks like, literally, of the same body or form. See y-, lich
Related formslik·er, noun

Usage note

Like1 as a conjunction meaning “as, in the same way as” ( Many shoppers study the food ads like brokers study market reports ) or “as if” ( It looks like it will rain ) has been used for nearly 500 years and by many distinguished literary and intellectual figures. Since the mid-19th century there have been objections, often vehement, to these uses. Nevertheless, such uses are almost universal today in all but the most formal speech and writing. In extremely careful speech and in much formal writing, as, as if, and as though are more commonly used than like : The commanding general accepted full responsibility for the incident, as any professional soldier would. Many of the Greenwich Village bohemians lived as if (or as though ) there were no tomorrow.
The strong strictures against the use of like as a conjunction have resulted in the occasional hypercorrect use of as as a preposition where like is idiomatic: She looks as a sympathetic person.
Like meaning “as if” is also standard in informal speech and writing with a small number of adjectives: The crew worked like crazy (or like mad ) to finish the job on time. See also as.

like2

[lahyk]
verb (used with object), liked, lik·ing.
  1. to take pleasure in; find agreeable or congenial: We all liked the concert.
  2. to regard with favor; have a kindly or friendly feeling for (a person, group, etc.); find attractive: His parents like me and I like them.
  3. to wish or prefer: You can do exactly as you like while you are a guest here.
  4. Digital Technology. (sometimes initial capital letter) to indicate one’s enjoyment of, agreement with, or interest in (website content, especially in social media): Share your posts so your friends can like them or leave a comment. Like us on Facebook to get a free sample.
verb (used without object), liked, lik·ing.
  1. to feel inclined; wish: We'll have lunch whenever you like.
  2. Archaic. to suit the tastes or wishes; please.
noun
  1. Usually likes. the things a person likes: a long list of likes and dislikes.
  2. Digital Technology. (sometimes initial capital letter)
    1. an instance of indicating one’s liking of specific website content: I see my comment got lots of likes.
    2. a feature or option, usually a button, that enables this: I installed a Like on my blog so you can subscribe to updates.
adjective
  1. Digital Technology. (sometimes initial capital letter) noting or pertaining to a feature used to like specific website content: a Like button; like boxes.
Idioms
  1. would like. would1(def 10).

Origin of like2

before 900; Middle English liken, Old English līcian; cognate with Dutch lijken, Old Norse līka; see like1

-like

  1. a suffixal use of like1 in the formation of adjectives (childlike; lifelike), sometimes hyphenated.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
British Dictionary definitions for like

like1

adjective
  1. (prenominal) similar; resembling
preposition
  1. similar to; similarly to; in the manner ofacting like a maniac; he's so like his father
  2. used correlatively to express similarity in certain proverbslike mother, like daughter
  3. such asthere are lots of ways you might amuse yourself — like taking a long walk, for instance
adverb
  1. a dialect word for likely
  2. not standard as it were: often used as a parenthetic fillerthere was this policeman just staring at us, like
  3. be like … informal used to introduce direct speech or nonverbal communicationI was like, ‘You're kidding!’
conjunction
  1. not standard as though; as ifyou look like you've just seen a ghost
  2. in the same way as; in the same way thatshe doesn't dance like you do
noun
  1. the equal or counterpart of a person or thing, esp one respected or prizedcompare like with like; her like will never be seen again
  2. the like similar thingsdogs, foxes, and the like
  3. the likes of or the like of people or things similar to (someone or something specified)we don't want the likes of you around here

Word Origin

shortened from Old English gelīc; compare Old Norse glīkr and līkr like

usage

The use of like to mean such as was formerly thought to be undesirable in formal writing, but has now become acceptable. It was also thought that as rather than like should be used to mean in the same way that, but now both as and like are acceptable: they hunt and catch fish as/like their ancestors used to. The use of look like and seem like before a clause, although very common, is thought by many people to be incorrect or non-standard: it looks as though he won't come (not it looks like he won't come)

like2

verb
  1. (tr) to find (something) enjoyable or agreeable or find it enjoyable or agreeable (to do something)he likes boxing; he likes to hear music
  2. (tr) to be fond of
  3. (tr) to prefer or wish (to do something)we would like you to go
  4. (tr) to feel towards; consider; regardhow did she like it?
  5. (intr) to feel disposed or inclined; choose; wish
  6. (tr) archaic to please; agree withit likes me not to go
noun
  1. (usually plural) a favourable feeling, desire, preference, etc (esp in the phrase likes and dislikes)

Word Origin

Old English līcian; related to Old Norse līka, Dutch lijken

-like

suffix forming adjectives
  1. resembling or similar tolifelike; springlike
  2. having the characteristics ofchildlike; ladylike

Word Origin

from like 1 (prep)
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 like

adj.

"having the same characteristics or qualities" (as another), Middle English shortening of Old English gelic "like, similar," from Proto-Germanic *galika- "having the same form," literally "with a corresponding body" (cf. Old Saxon gilik, Dutch gelijk, German gleich, Gothic galeiks "equally, like"), a compound of *ga- "with, together" + Germanic base *lik- "body, form; like, same" (cf. Old English lic "body," German Leiche "corpse," Danish lig, Swedish lik, Dutch lijk "body, corpse"). Analogous, etymologically, to Latin conform. The modern form (rather than *lich) may be from a northern descendant of the Old English word's Norse cognate, glikr.

Formerly with comparative liker and superlative likest (still in use 17c.). The preposition (c.1200) and the adverb (c.1300) both are from the adjective. As a conjunction, first attested early 16c. The word has been used as a postponed filler ("going really fast, like") from 1778; as a presumed emphatic ("going, like, really fast") from 1950, originally in counterculture slang and bop talk. Phrase more like it "closer to what is desired" is from 1888.

v.

Old English lician "to please, be sufficient," from Proto-Germanic *likjan (cf. Old Norse lika, Old Frisian likia, Old High German lihhen, Gothic leikan "to please"), from *lik- "body, form; like, same."

The basic meaning seems to be "to be like" (see like (adj.)), thus, "to be suitable." Like (and dislike) originally flowed the other way: It likes me, where we would say I like it. The modern flow began to appear late 14c. (cf. please).

n.

c.1200, "a similar thing" (to another), from like (adj.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with like

like

In addition to the idioms beginning with like

also see:

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.