different, dissimilar, or unequal; not alike: They contributed unlike sums to charity.


dissimilar to; different from: She is unlike my sister in many ways.
not typical or characteristic of: It is unlike her to enjoy herself so much.


a person or thing differing from another or others.

Origin of unlike

First recorded in 1150–1200, unlike is from the Middle English word unlik. See un-1, like1
Related formsun·like·ness, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for unlike

Contemporary Examples of unlike

Historical Examples of unlike

  • Unlike Mlle. Higbee, she has not the father from Chicago nor elsewhere.

    The Spenders

    Harry Leon Wilson

  • She was not moralizing; at least it was unlike any moralizing that they had ever heard.

  • Garson answered with a note of weariness that was unlike him.

    Within the Law

    Marvin Dana

  • There was something about her eyes not unlike the dog's expression, submissive, but questioning.


    Mary Roberts Rinehart

  • I have one dreary, cold room, as unlike this as two rooms can be.

British Dictionary definitions for unlike



not alike; dissimilar or unequal; different
archaic unlikely


not like; not typical ofunlike his father, he lacks intelligence
Derived Formsunlikeness, noun
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 unlike

c.1200, "not resembling," from un- (1) "not" + like (adj.). Cf. Old English ungelic, Old Frisian unlik, Old Norse ulikr, Middle Danish ulige.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper