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verb \ˈlīk\

Simple Definition of like

  • : to enjoy (something) : to get pleasure from (something)

  • : to regard (something) in a favorable way

  • : to feel affection for (someone) : to enjoy being with (someone)

Full Definition of like


  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 chiefly dialect :  to be suitable or agreeable to <I like onions but they don't like me>

  3. 2 a :  to feel attraction toward or take pleasure in :  enjoy <likes baseball> b :  to feel toward :  regard <how would you like a change>

  4. 3 :  to wish to have :  want <would like a drink>

  5. 4 :  to do well in <this plant likes dry soil> <my car does not like cold weather>

  6. intransitive verb
  7. 1 dial :  approve

  8. 2 :  to feel inclined :  choose, prefer <leave any time you like>

Examples of like

  1. He likes baseball, but he loves football.

  2. Do you like Mexican food?

  3. I liked the movie a lot more than I thought I would.

  4. I don't know what it is about that guy, but I just don't like him.

  5. They were political allies who truly liked each other.

  6. What is it that you like or dislike about him most?

  7. She says she likes him as a friend but she's not attracted to him.

  8. My boss was a tough guy, but I liked him for his honesty.

Origin of like

Middle English, from Old English līcian; akin to Old English gelīc alike

First Known Use: before 12th century

Rhymes with like




Definition of like

  1. 1 :  liking, preference

  2. 2 :  something that one likes


First Known Use of like





Simple Definition of like

  • : having the same or similar qualities

Full Definition of like

  1. 1 a :  the same or nearly the same (as in appearance, character, or quantity) <suits of like design> —formerly used with as, unto, of <it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren — Heb 2:17(Authorized Version)> b chiefly British :  closely resembling the subject or original <the portrait is very like>

  2. 2 :  likely <the importance of statistics as the one discipline like to give accuracy of mind — H. J. Laski>

Examples of like

  1. <you're not talking about like things when you compare football and golf>

Origin of like

Middle English, alteration of ilich, from Old English gelīc like, alike, from ge-, associative prefix + līc body; akin to Old High German gilīh like, alike, Lithuanian lygus like — more at co-

First Known Use: 13th century




Simple Definition of like

  • : similar to (something or someone)

  • : typical of (someone)

  • : comparable to or close to (something)

Full Definition of like

  1. 1 a :  having the characteristics of :  similar to <his house is like a barn> <it's like when we were kids> b :  typical of <was like him to do that> c :  comparable to :  approximating <costs something like fifty cents>

  2. 2 :  in the manner of :  similarly to <acts like a fool>

  3. 3 :  as though there would be <looks like rain>

  4. 4 :  such as <a subject like physics>

  5. 5 —used to form intensive or ironic phrases <fought like hell> <like fun he did> <laughed like anything>

Examples of like

  1. The house looks like a barn.

  2. It's like when we were kids.

  3. She's not at all like her sister.

  4. The baby is more like his mother than his father.

  5. Who is he like? He's not like anyone I've ever met before.

13th Century

First Known Use of like

13th century




Definition of like

  1. 1 a :  one that is similar :  counterpart, equal <have … never seen the like before — Sir Winston Churchill> b :  kind 4a —usually used with a preceding possessive <put him and his like to some job — J. R. R. Tolkien>

  2. 2 :  one of many that are similar to each other —used chiefly in proverbial expressions <like breeds like>

and the like
the likes of also the like of
  1. 1 :  such people as :  such things as <reads the likes of Austen and Browning>

  2. 2 :  such a one as and perhaps others similar to —usually used with disparaging overtones <have no use for the likes of you>

  3. 3 :  the kind or sort of <a fantastic celebration the likes of which had never been seen before — Joseph Heller>

13th Century

First Known Use of like

13th century




Definition of like

  1. 1 archaic :  equally

  2. 2 :  likely, probably <you'll try it, some day, like enough — Mark Twain>

  3. 3 a :  to some extent :  rather, altogether <saunter over nonchalantly like — Walter Karig> b —used interjectionally in informal speech often to emphasize a word or phrase (as in “He was, like, gorgeous”) or for an apologetic, vague, or unassertive effect (as in “I need to, like, borrow some money”)

  4. 4 :  nearly, :  approximately <the actual interest is more like 18 percent> —used interjectionally in informal speech with expressions of measurement <it was, like, five feet long> <goes there every day, like>

as like as not or like as not

Examples of like

  1. <the cat would curl up, tightly like, and just go to sleep>

  2. <the distance is more like 500 miles>

14th Century

First Known Use of like

14th century




Simple Definition of like

  • : the way it would be if

  • : the way someone would do if

  • : the same as

Full Definition of like

  1. 1 a :  as if <middle-aged men who looked like they might be out for their one night of the year — Norman Mailer> b —used in intensive phrases <drove like mad> <hurts like crazy>

  2. 2 :  in the same way that :  as <they raven down scenery like children do sweetmeats — John Keats>

  3. 3 a :  in the way or manner that <the violin sounds like an old masterpiece should> <did it like you told me> b —used interjectionally in informal speech often with the verb be to introduce a quotation, paraphrase, or thought expressed by or imputed to the subject of the verb, or with it's to report a generally held opinion <so I'm like, “Give me a break”> <it's like, “Who cares what he thinks?”>

  4. 4 :  such as <a bag like a doctor carries> <when your car has trouble — like when it won't start> —used interjectionally in informal speech <often stays up late, until like three in the morning>

Usage Discussion of like

Like has been used as a conjunction since the 14th century. In the 14th, 15th, and 16th centuries it was used in serious literature, but not often; in the 17th and 18th centuries it grew more frequent but less literary. It became markedly more frequent in literary use again in the 19th century. By mid-century it was coming under critical fire, but not from grammarians, oddly enough, who were wrangling over whether it could be called a preposition or not. There is no doubt that, after 600 years of use, conjunctive like is firmly established. It has been used by many prestigious literary figures of the past, though perhaps not in their most elevated works; in modern use it may be found in literature, journalism, and scholarly writing. While the present objection to it is perhaps more heated than rational, someone writing in a formal prose style may well prefer to use as, as if, such as, or an entirely different construction instead.

Examples of like

  1. <it looks like it's going to rain at any moment>

14th Century

First Known Use of like

14th century



verbal auxiliary \ˈlīkt\

Definition of like

chiefly dialect

  1. :  came near :  was near <so loud I like to fell out of bed — Helen Eustis>

15th Century

First Known Use of like

15th century

Variants of like

or liked play \ˈlīkt\


adjective combining form

Simple Definition of -like

  • : similar to or resembling

  • : like that or those of

Full Definition of -like

  1. :  resembling or characteristic of <bell-like> <ladylike>

Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up like? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


February 14, 2016

to hug and kiss another person

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