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

Examples of analogous in a Sentence

… 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 Abela grew up near Brighton in a Jewish family in an analogous situation to Winehouse. Emily Zemler, Los Angeles Times, 15 May 2024 Various organisms secrete fluids that are directly analogous to milk and used to nourish offspring in exactly the same way. Riley Black, Smithsonian Magazine, 13 May 2024 To demonstrate that, the government must put forth laws that are analogous to the modern-day measure at issue. Melissa Quinn, CBS News, 7 May 2024 Notes are sounded by the flexing and releasing of abdominal muscles, a system somewhat analogous to the one used by a steel-drum set. Rivka Galchen, The New Yorker, 7 May 2024 See all Example Sentences for analogous 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'analogous.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

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 17 Jun. 2024.

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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