- Like means similar or nearly the same.
An example of like is white as compared to off-white.
- The definition of a like is a preference or something that one enjoys.
An example of like is Merlot to a wine lover.
- Like is defined as to enjoy or agree with something.
An example of like is to favor chocolate ice cream.
This boy likes his ice cream.Licensed from iStockPhoto
- having almost or exactly the same qualities, characteristics, etc.; similar; equal: a cup of sugar and a like amount of flour
- Rare alike
- Dialectal likely
Origin: Middle English lik, aphetic for ilik from Old English gelic, similar, equal, literally , of the same form or shape, akin to German gleich from Proto-Germanic an unverified form galīka- from an unverified form ga-, prefix of uncertain meaning plush an unverified form līka, body, (ON līk, Gothic leik, Old English lic): for Indo-European base see lich
- similar to; somewhat resembling: she is like a bird
- in a manner characteristic of; similarly to: she sings like a bird
- in accord with the nature of; characteristic of: it's not like her to sleep late
- in the mood for; desirous of: to feel like sleeping
- indicative or prophetic of: that sounds like fun; it looks like a clear day tomorrow
- as for example: great dramatists like Sophocles and Shakespeare
- in the way that; as: it was just like you said
- as if: it looks like he is late
- Obsolete to please
- to be so inclined; choose: leave whenever you like
Origin: Middle English liken from Old English lician (akin to Gothic leikan) from base of lic, body, form (see like): sense development: to be of like form—be like—be suited to—be pleasing to
- to have a taste or fondness for; be pleased with; have a preference for; enjoy
- to want or wish: I would like to see him
- Informal to favor and support as the probable winner: I like Cleveland in the Series
- liker noun
- like, characteristic of, suitable for: doglike, manlike, homelike
- in the manner of: coward-like
Origin: from like
Used by arrangement with John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
verb liked liked, lik·ing, likes verb, transitive
- To find pleasant or attractive; enjoy.
- To want to have: would like some coffee.
- To feel about; regard: How do you like her nerve!
- Archaic To be pleasing to.
- To have an inclination or a preference: If you like, we can meet you there.
- Scots To be pleased.
Origin: Middle English liken, from Old English līcian, to please; see līk- in Indo-European roots.
- Possessing the characteristics of; resembling closely; similar to.
- a. In the typical manner of: It's not like you to take offense.b. In the same way as: lived like royalty.
- Inclined or disposed to: felt like running away.
- As if the probability exists for: looks like a bad year for farmers.
- Such as; for example: saved things like old newspapers and pieces of string.
- Possessing the same or almost the same characteristics; similar: on this and like occasions.
- Alike: They are as like as two siblings.
- Having equivalent value or quality. Usually used in negative sentences: There's nothing like a good night's sleep.
- In the manner of being; as if. Used as an intensifier of action: worked like hell; ran like crazy.
- Informal Probably; likely: Like as not she'll change her mind.
- Nearly; approximately: The price is more like 1,000 dollars.
- Nonstandard Used to provide emphasis or a pause: Like let's get going.
- One similar to or like another. Used with the: was subject to coughs, asthma, and the like.
- Informal An equivalent or similar person or thing; an equal or match. Often used in the plural: I've never seen the likes of this before. We'll never see his like again.
- In the same way that; as: To dance like she does requires great discipline.
- As if: It looks like we'll finish on time.
Origin: Middle English, from like, similar (from Old English gelīc and Old Norse līkr) and from like, similarly (from Old English gelīce, from gelīc, similar); see līk- in Indo-European roots.Usage Note: Writers since Chaucer's time have used like as a conjunction, but 19th-century and 20th-century critics have been so vehement in their condemnations of this usage that a writer who uses the construction in formal style risks being accused of illiteracy or worse. Prudence requires The dogs howled as (not like) we expected them to. Like is more acceptably used as a conjunction in informal style with verbs such as feel, look, seem, sound, and taste, as in It looks like we are in for a rough winter. But here too as if is to be preferred in formal writing. There can be no objection to the use of like as a conjunction when the following verb is not expressed, as in He took to politics like a duck to water. See Usage Notes at as1, together.Our Living Language Along with be all and go, the construction combining be and like has become a common way of introducing quotations in informal conversation, especially among younger people: “So I'm like, ‘Let's get out of here!’” As with go, this use of like can also announce a brief imitation of another person's behavior, often elaborated with facial expressions and gestures. It can also summarize a past attitude or reaction (instead of presenting direct speech). If a woman says “I'm like, ‘Get lost buddy!’” she may or may not have used those actual words to tell the offending man off. In fact, she may not have said anything to him but instead may be summarizing her attitude at the time by stating what she might have said, had she chosen to speak. See Notes at all, go1.
also likedaux.v. Chiefly Southern U.S.
Origin: Middle English liken, to compare, from like, similar; see like2.Our Living Language In certain Southern varieties of American English there are two grammatically distinct usages of the word like to mean “was on the verge of.” In both, either like or liked is possible. In the first, the word is followed by a past infinitive: We liked (or like) to have drowned. The ancestor of this construction was probably the adjective like in the sense “likely, on the verge of,” as in She's like to get married again. The adjective was reinterpreted by some speakers as a verb, and since like to and liked to are indistinguishable in normal speech, the past tense came to be marked on the following infinitive for clarity. From this developed a second way of expressing the same concept: the use of like to with a following finite past-tense verb form, as in I like to died when I saw that. This construction appears odd at first because it ostensibly contains an ungrammatical infinitive to died; but that is not the case at all. What has happened is that like to here has been reinterpreted as an adverb meaning almost. In fact, it is quite common to see the phrase spelled as a single word, in the pronunciation spelling liketa.
Origin: Middle English, from like, similar; see like2.
like - Phrases/Idioms
the like of
more like it
Used by arrangement with John Wiley & Sons, Inc.