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noun, anal·o·gy \ə-ˈna-lə-jē\

Simple Definition of analogy

  • : a comparison of two things based on their being alike in some way

  • : the act of comparing two things that are alike in some way

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of analogy

plural analogies

  1. 1 :  inference that if two or more things agree with one another in some respects they will probably agree in others

  2. 2 a :  resemblance in some particulars between things otherwise unlike :  similarity b :  comparison based on such resemblance

  3. 3 :  correspondence between the members of pairs or sets of linguistic forms that serves as a basis for the creation of another form

  4. 4 :  correspondence in function between anatomical parts of different structure and origin — compare homology

Examples of analogy in a sentence

  1. He does, though, suffer from the occupational deformation of international relations specialists: an enthusiasm for ransacking the past in search of precedents, analogies, patterns, and cycles that might explain the present and forecast the future. —Tony Judt, New York Book Review, 10 Apr. 2003

  2. People who do this call themselves “white-hat” hackers—good people who show other people their vulnerabilities. Take the following analogy: I've designed a great new lock pick, and I'm going to give this great new gadget away to show everyone that the typical door lock is ineffective against my new pick. —John C. Dvorak, PC Magazine, 4 Apr. 2000

  3. It has often been said that movie stars are the royalty of America. (The better analogy, really, is that the royals are the movie stars of Britain.) —Neal Gabler, Life: The Movie, 1998

  4. Parts of the far-infrared sky look like colonies of spiders gone mad. The fine structure seen there is called cirrus, by analogy with filamentary clouds on Earth. —Virginia Trimble et al., Sky & Telescope, January 1995

Origin of analogy

(see analogous)

First Known Use: 15th century

Synonym Discussion of analogy

likeness, similarity, resemblance, similitude, analogy mean agreement or correspondence in details. likeness implies a closer correspondence than similarity which often implies that things are merely somewhat alike <a remarkable likeness to his late father> <some similarity between the two cases>. resemblance implies similarity chiefly in appearance or external qualities <statements that bear little resemblance to the truth>. similitude applies chiefly to correspondence between abstractions <two schools of social thought showing points of similitude>. analogy implies likeness or parallelism in relations rather than in appearance or qualities <pointed out analogies to past wars>.

Rhymes with analogy

ANALOGY Defined for Kids


noun anal·o·gy \ə-ˈna-lə-jē\

Definition of analogy for Students

plural analogies

  1. 1 :  a comparison of things based on ways they are alike <He made an analogy between flying and surfing.>

  2. 2 :  the act of comparing things that are alike in some way <She explained by analogy.>

Medical Dictionary


noun anal·o·gy \ə-ˈnal-ə-jē\

Medical Definition of analogy

plural analogies

  1. :  functional similarity between anatomical parts without similarity of structure and origin—compare homology 1

Seen and Heard

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the range of perception or understanding

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