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[lahy-kuh n] /ˈlaɪ kən/
verb (used with object)
to represent as similar or like; compare:
to liken someone to a weasel.
Origin of liken
First recorded in 1275-1325, liken is from the Middle English word liknen. See like1, -en1
Related forms
unlikened, adjective
Can be confused
lichen, liken. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for likened
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • She was small and slender, but no one had ever likened her to a flower.

    Thoroughbreds W. A. Fraser
  • This is what I likened to an embattled phalanx, once before.

    Clarissa, Volume 2 (of 9) Samuel Richardson
  • The thirst of the snow fields is most agonizing, and can only be likened to the thirst of the desert.

    The Long Labrador Trail Dillon Wallace
  • None other can be likened to it in the history of our existence as a republic.

  • The soul of man is likened to a charioteer and two steeds, one mortal, the other immortal.

    Meno Plato
British Dictionary definitions for likened


(transitive) to see or represent as the same or similar; compare
Word Origin
C14: from like1 (adj)
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
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Word Origin and History for likened



late 13c., "to represent as like," from like (adj.) + -en (1). Related: Likened; likening.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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