[ lahyk ]
See synonyms for: likelikedlikesliking on

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.

  1. bearing resemblance.

  2. Dialect. likely or probable: 'Tis like that he's gone mad.

  3. Dialect. about; almost ready, as to perform some action: The poor chap seemed like to run away.

  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.

  1. characteristic of: It would be like him to forget our appointment.

  2. as if there is promise of; indicative of: It looks like rain.

  3. as if someone or something gives promise of being: She looks like a good prospect for the job.

  4. disposed or inclined to (usually preceded by feel): to feel like going to bed.

  5. similar or comparable to: There is nothing like a cold drink of water when one is thirsty. What was he like?

  6. (used correlatively to indicate similarity through relationship): like father, like son.

  7. (used to establish an intensifying, often facetious, comparison): Last night I slept like a log.They ran like hell down the street.

  8. as; such as: There are numerous hobbies you might enjoy, like photography or painting.

  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.

  1. Nonstandard.

    • as it were; in a way; somehow: I did it like wrong.

    • to a degree; more or less: The guy was standing against the wall, looking very tough like.

  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.

  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.

  1. the like, something of a similar nature: They grow oranges, lemons, and the like.

  1. Informal. (used 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): So, like, why didn't you call me? The music was, like, really great, you know?I'm not going out—it's like 10 degrees out there!

Idioms about like

  1. be like, Informal. to say, declare, think, or feel (usually used to introduce reported speech or thought): She's like, “I don't believe it,” and I'm like, “No, it's true!”

  2. like anything, Informal. very much; extremely; with great intensity: He wanted like anything to win.

  1. 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.

  2. something like, Informal. something approaching or approximating: It looked something like this.

  3. the like / likes of, someone or something similar to; the equal of: I've never seen the like of it anywhere.

Origin of like

First recorded in 1150–1200; Middle English lic, lik, from 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

usage note For like

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.

Other words from like

  • liker, noun

Other definitions for like (2 of 3)

[ 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.

  1. to wish or prefer: I'd like a piece of cake, please.I like my coffee with milk and sugar.

  2. Digital Technology. 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; want: We'll have lunch whenever you like.

  2. Archaic. to suit the tastes or wishes; please.

  1. Usually likes . the things a person likes: a long list of likes and dislikes.

  2. (sometimes initial capital letter)Digital Technology.

    • an instance of indicating one’s liking of specific website content: I see my comment got lots of likes.

    • a feature or option, usually a button, that enables this: I installed a Like on my blog so you can subscribe to updates.

  1. (sometimes initial capital letter)Digital Technology. noting or pertaining to a feature used to like specific website content: a Like button;like boxes.

Origin of like

First recorded before 900; Middle English verb liken, Old English līcian; cognate with Dutch lijken, Old Norse līka; from the same Germanic root as like1

Other definitions for -like (3 of 3)


  1. a suffixal use of like1 in the formation of adjectives (childlike; lifelike), sometimes hyphenated. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use like in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for like (1 of 3)


/ (laɪk) /

  1. (prenominal) similar; resembling

  1. similar to; similarly to; in the manner of: acting like a maniac; he's so like his father

  2. used correlatively to express similarity in certain proverbs: like mother, like daughter

  1. such as: there are lots of ways you might amuse yourself — like taking a long walk, for instance

  1. a dialect word for likely

  2. not standard as it were: often used as a parenthetic filler: there was this policeman just staring at us, like

  1. be like … informal used to introduce direct speech or nonverbal communication: I was like, ‘You're kidding!’

  1. not standard as though; as if: you look like you've just seen a ghost

  2. in the same way as; in the same way that: she doesn't dance like you do

  1. the equal or counterpart of a person or thing, esp one respected or prized: compare like with like; her like will never be seen again

  2. the like similar things: dogs, foxes, and the like

  1. 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

Origin of like

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

usage For like

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)

British Dictionary definitions for like (2 of 3)


/ (laɪk) /

  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

  1. (tr) to prefer or wish (to do something): we would like you to go

  2. (tr) to feel towards; consider; regard: how did she like it?

  3. (intr) to feel disposed or inclined; choose; wish

  4. (tr) archaic to please; agree with: it likes me not to go

  1. (usually plural) a favourable feeling, desire, preference, etc (esp in the phrase likes and dislikes)

Origin of like

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

British Dictionary definitions for -like (3 of 3)


suffix forming adjectives
  1. resembling or similar to: lifelike; springlike

  2. having the characteristics of: childlike; ladylike

Origin of -like

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

Other Idioms and Phrases with like


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

also see:

  • 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

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