- of the same form, appearance, kind, character, amount, etc.: I cannot remember a like instance.
- corresponding or agreeing in general or in some noticeable respect; similar; analogous: drawing, painting, and like arts.
- bearing resemblance.
- Dialect. likely or probable: 'Tis like that he's gone mad.
- Dialect. about; almost ready, as to perform some action: The poor chap seemed like to run away.
- in like manner with; similarly to; in the manner characteristic of: He works like a beaver.
- resembling (someone or something): He is just like his father. Your necklace is just like mine.
- characteristic of: It would be like him to forget our appointment.
- as if there is promise of; indicative of: It looks like rain.
- as if someone or something gives promise of being: She looks like a good prospect for the job.
- disposed or inclined to (usually preceded by feel): to feel like going to bed.
- similar or comparable to: There is nothing like a cold drink of water when one is thirsty. What was he like?
- (used correlatively to indicate similarity through relationship): like father, like son.
- (used to establish an intensifying, often facetious, comparison): sleeping like a log.
- as; such as: There are numerous hobbies you might enjoy, like photography or painting.
- nearly; closely; approximately: The house is more like 40 than 20 years old.
- Informal. likely or probably: Like enough he'll come with us. Like as not her leg is broken.
- as it were; in a way; somehow: I did it like wrong.
- to a degree; more or less: standing against the wall, looking very tough like.
- in the same way as; just as; as: It happened like you might expect it would.
- as if: He acted like he was afraid. The car runs like new.
- 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!"
- 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.
- kind; sort; type; ilk (usually preceded by a possessive adjective): I despise moochers and their like.
- the like, something of a similar nature: They grow oranges, lemons, and the like.
- 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?
- like anything, Informal. very much; extremely; with great intensity: He wanted like anything to win.
- 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.
- something like, Informal. something approaching or approximating: It looked something like this.
- the like/likes of, someone or something similar to; the equal of: I've never seen the like of it anywhere.
Origin of like1
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.
- (prenominal) similar; resembling
- similar to; similarly to; in the manner ofacting like a maniac; he's so like his father
- used correlatively to express similarity in certain proverbslike mother, like daughter
- such asthere are lots of ways you might amuse yourself — like taking a long walk, for instance
- a dialect word for likely
- not standard as it were: often used as a parenthetic fillerthere was this policeman just staring at us, like
- be like … informal used to introduce direct speech or nonverbal communicationI was like, ‘You're kidding!’
- not standard as though; as ifyou look like you've just seen a ghost
- in the same way as; in the same way thatshe doesn't dance like you do
- the equal or counterpart of a person or thing, esp one respected or prizedcompare like with like; her like will never be seen again
- the like similar thingsdogs, foxes, and the like
- 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 for like
- (tr) to find (something) enjoyable or agreeable or find it enjoyable or agreeable (to do something)he likes boxing; he likes to hear music
- (tr) to be fond of
- (tr) to prefer or wish (to do something)we would like you to go
- (tr) to feel towards; consider; regardhow did she like it?
- (intr) to feel disposed or inclined; choose; wish
- (tr) archaic to please; agree withit likes me not to go
- (usually plural) a favourable feeling, desire, preference, etc (esp in the phrase likes and dislikes)
Word Origin for like
c.1200, "a similar thing" (to another), from 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.
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).
Extremely, vigorously, as in She cried like anything when the dog died. This idiom probably substitutes anything for a swear word. [Colloquial; late 1600s]
In addition to the idioms beginning with like
- like a bat out of hell
- like a bump on a log
- like a cat on hot bricks
- like a champ
- like a chicken with its head cut off
- like a drowned rat
- like a fish out of water
- like a house afire
- like a lamb to the slaughter
- like anything
- like a shot
- like as not
- like as two peas in a pod
- like a ton of bricks
- like clockwork
- like crazy
- like death warmed over
- like father, like son
- like fun
- like gangbusters
- like greased lightning
- like hell
- like hot cakes, go
- like it or lump it
- likely as not
- like mad
- like nobody's business
- like nothing on earth
- like pigs in clover
- like pulling teeth
- like rolling off a log
- like shooting fish in a barrel
- likes of, the
- like something the cat dragged in
- like that
- like to
- like water off a duck's back
- and the like
- avoid like the plague
- come up (smelling like) roses
- crazy like a fox
- drink like a fish
- drop like flies
- Dutch uncle, talk to like a
- eat like a bird
- feel like
- (like a) fish out of water
- fit like a glove
- fly on the wall, would like to be a
- get on (like a house afire)
- go out (like a light)
- go over (like a lead balloon)
- grin like a Cheshire cat
- (drop like a) hot potato
- just like that
- know like a book
- live like a king
- look like a million dollars
- look like death
- look like something the cat dragged in
- look like the cat that ate the canary
- make out like a bandit
- manna from heaven, like
- mind like a steel trap
- need like a hole in the head
- no fool like an old fool
- not anything like
- no time like the present
- out like a light
- packed in like sardines
- sleep like a log
- something like
- spread like wildfire
- stick out (like a sore thumb)
- swear like a trooper
- take to (like a duck to water)
- tell it like it is
- treat like dirt
- turn up like a bad penny
- wail like a banshee
- watch like a hawk
- work like a beaver
- work like a charm