anal·​o·​gous ə-ˈna-lə-gəs How to pronounce analogous (audio)
: similar or comparable to something else either in general or in some specific detail
Timbre in music is analogous to color in painting.Aaron Copland
An airplane's joystick is somewhat analogous to the reins on a horse.
: similar in a way that invites comparison : showing an analogy or a likeness that permits one to draw an analogy
a town council and a government body that serves an analogous function
analogously adverb
analogousness noun
Choose the Right Synonym for analogous

similar, analogous, parallel mean closely resembling each other.

similar implies the possibility of being mistaken for each other.

all the houses in the development are similar

analogous applies to things belonging in essentially different categories but nevertheless having many similarities.

analogous political systems

parallel suggests a marked likeness in the development of two things.

the parallel careers of two movie stars

Example Sentences

… gluons, force particles analogous to the photons of electromagnetism. Andrew Watson, Science, 22 Jan. 1999
… great stretches of algae, analogous to terrestrial woodlands, in which kelp fills the role of trees. William K. Stevens, New York Times, 5 Jan. 1999
… not by means superior to, though analogous with, human reason … Charles Darwin, On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, 1859
Recent Examples on the Web The way this fight is playing out for drugstores is analogous to the way political fights in Florida over LGBT rights hurt Disney, said Daniel Korschun, an associate professor of marketing at Drexel University. Christopher Rowland, Washington Post, 8 Mar. 2023 No victim impact statements were presented Friday, making for a quick sentencing that was analogous to the swift announcement of the verdict. Arkansas Online, 4 Mar. 2023 For Arcand, the galactic center is analogous to a city’s urban core. Dan Falk, Smithsonian Magazine, 1 Mar. 2023 Imagining on purpose The difference between voluntary imagination and involuntary imagination is analogous to the difference between voluntary muscle control and muscle spasm. Andrey Vyshedskiy, The Conversation, 23 Feb. 2023 Plenty of disc jockeys have come up with analogous call-in show formats over the last 80 years, but Laboe was likely the first to take listener requests and dedications. Los Angeles Times, 12 Feb. 2023 Some in northern New England recalled hearing sounds analogous to gunshots. Matthew Cappucci, Washington Post, 3 Feb. 2023 Simply put, a situation like Black Adam where the characters were made a bit too analogous to Marvel characters won’t happen this time around. Richard Newby, The Hollywood Reporter, 3 Feb. 2023 Embedded in these questions is a subtle determination of whether a CISO should report independently of the IT organization, perhaps analogous to the way internal audit functions generally don’t report within the finance organization. Betsy Atkins, Forbes, 26 Jan. 2023 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'analogous.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History


Latin analogus "proportionate" (Medieval Latin, "conforming to analogy") + -ous; analogus borrowed from Greek análogos "proportionate, conformable," parasynthetic derivative from anà lógon "proportionately," from aná "up, throughout" + lógon, accusative of lógos "word, speech, relation, correspondence, proportion" — more at ana-, legend

First Known Use

1646, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of analogous was in 1646

Dictionary Entries Near analogous

Cite this Entry

“Analogous.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Mar. 2023.

Kids Definition


anal·​o·​gous ə-ˈnal-ə-gəs How to pronounce analogous (audio)
: showing analogy : similar
the two stories are analogous
: related by analogy
analogously adverb
analogousness noun

Medical Definition


anal·​o·​gous ə-ˈnal-ə-gəs How to pronounce analogous (audio)
: having similar function but a different structure and origin
analogous organs

More from Merriam-Webster on analogous

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