lik·​en | \ ˈlī-kən How to pronounce liken (audio) \
likened; likening\ ˈlī-​kə-​niŋ How to pronounce likening (audio) , ˈlīk-​niŋ \

Definition of liken

transitive verb

: to represent as similar : compare

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Synonyms & Antonyms for liken



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Examples of liken in a Sentence

he generally likened a root canal to some horrible form of torture I think that we can liken the two pianists, at least in terms of natural talent.
Recent Examples on the Web House Democrats have likened Trump’s conduct to bribery. Sabrina Eaton, cleveland, "When Jim Jordan was a backer of impeachment," 5 Dec. 2019 The call has since been likened to a Public Service Announcement that aired during the Super Bowl in 2015, which is based on another actual 911 call. Tara Law, Time, "When a Woman Called 911 for Pepperoni Pizza, a Dispatcher Recognized a Call for Help," 24 Nov. 2019 Symptoms are often likened to the effects of a stroke — where the message from a person’s brain to their mouth, tongue and cheeks get stuck in limbo. Yvette Orozco, Houston Chronicle, "Boy’s challenges lead Seabrook mom to spread awareness about rare disorder," 30 Oct. 2019 In April, the board voted to impose the surcharge, even as some of the commissioners expressed misgivings, with one likening PSEG’s threats to extortion. Talia Buford, ProPublica, "The Obscure Charges That Utility Companies Add to Your Bills," 21 Oct. 2019 That controversy in turn helped lead to numerous government efforts to curb the sale of randomized in-game items, which many likened to unregulated gambling. Kyle Orland, Ars Technica, "So long, supply drops: Call of Duty gets rid of randomized loot boxes," 17 Oct. 2019 Prosecutors liken these workplace conditions to indentured servitude. Washington Post, "Probe: Medicaid funds still go to suspect senior care homes," 16 Dec. 2019 Steve Patterson’s reign as athletic director was an abject disaster, a two-year period some around the program likened to the Dark Ages. Nick Moyle,, "Gap between Oklahoma Sooners, Texas Longhorns widening," 12 Dec. 2019 LeRoy likens it to the difference between a child’s toy choo-choo train knocking into you and a locomotive bearing down on you. Marisa Cohen, Good Housekeeping, "The Real Side Effects of Getting the Flu Shot," 18 Nov. 2019

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

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First Known Use of liken

14th century, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for liken

Time Traveler

The first known use of liken was in the 14th century

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Statistics for liken

Last Updated

10 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Liken.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 21 January 2020.

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More Definitions for liken


lik·​en | \ ˈlī-kən How to pronounce liken (audio) \
likened; likening

Kids Definition of liken

: to describe as similar to : compare They liken their car to a taxi.

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More from Merriam-Webster on liken

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for liken

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with liken

Spanish Central: Translation of liken

Nglish: Translation of liken for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of liken for Arabic Speakers

Comments on liken

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good-natured easy friendliness

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