[lahy-kuh n]

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 formsun·lik·ened, adjective
Can be confusedlichen liken Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for liken

Contemporary Examples of liken

Historical Examples of liken

  • If we liken them to gold, she has made her assay and says the gold is pure.

    Jesus the Christ

    James Edward Talmage

  • "You do well to liken yourself to the melancholy Jaques," she replied.

    Loss and Gain

    John Henry Newman

  • “Yes, yes; but it becomes not me to liken myself to such a man,” he answered.

    The Golden Grasshopper

    W.H.G. Kingston

  • There are descriptions of the creeper's music which liken it to a wren's.

    Birds in the Bush

    Bradford Torrey

  • It's no that difficult to busk the hooks; maybe you would be liken' to try.


    Janet Milne Rae

British Dictionary definitions for liken



(tr) to see or represent as the same or similar; compare

Word Origin for liken

C14: from like 1 (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

Word Origin and History for liken

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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper