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See more synonyms for similar on Thesaurus.com
  1. having a likeness or resemblance, especially in a general way: two similar houses.
  2. Geometry. (of figures) having the same shape; having corresponding sides proportional and corresponding angles equal: similar triangles.
  3. Mathematics. (of two square matrices) related by means of a similarity transformation.
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Origin of similar

1605–15; earlier similary < French similaire or Medieval Latin similāris, equivalent to Latin simil(is) like, similar (akin to simul together; cf. simplex) + -āris -ar1
Related formssim·i·lar·ly, adverbnon·sim·i·lar, adjectivenon·sim·i·lar·ly, adverbqua·si-sim·i·lar, adjectivequa·si-sim·i·lar·ly, adverbself-sim·i·lar, adjectiveun·sim·i·lar, adjectiveun·sim·i·lar·ly, adverb

Synonyms for similar

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1. like, resembling. See same.

Antonyms for similar

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for unsimilar

Historical Examples of unsimilar

  • The course of Spain, and that of the Italian States, have been not unsimilar.

    Pilgrimage from the Alps to the Tiber

    James Aitken Wylie

  • I flatter myself that "not unsimilar abundance" is eminently Milvertonian.

  • They looked at each other, in fact, being much of an age, and not unsimilar in worldly means just at the present moment.

    Salem Chapel, v.1/2

    Mrs. Oliphant

  • Of Haydn's early days we have already spoken, and those of Mozart were not unsimilar.

British Dictionary definitions for unsimilar


  1. showing resemblance in qualities, characteristics, or appearance; alike but not identical
  2. geometry (of two or more figures) having corresponding angles equal and all corresponding sides in the same ratioCompare congruent (def. 2)
  3. maths (of two classes) equinumerous
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Derived Formssimilarity (ˌsɪmɪˈlærɪtɪ), nounsimilarly, adverb

Word Origin for similar

C17: from Old French similaire, from Latin similis


As should not be used after similar: Wilson held a similar position to Jones (not a similar position as Jones); the system is similar to the one in France (not similar as the one in France)
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 unsimilar



"having characteristics in common," 1610s (earlier similary, 1560s), from French similaire, from a Medieval Latin extended form of Latin similis "like, resembling," from Old Latin semol "together," from PIE root *sem- (1) "one, as one, together with" (see same). The noun meaning "that which is similar" is from 1650s. Related: Similarly.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper