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 Vaccine advocates have likened the newer protests to publicity stunts from the Westboro Baptist church — offensive signs and sometimes costumes, paired with harassment of passers-by at events the media is already covering. NBC News, "Anti-vaccine groups take dangerous harassment offline and into the real world," 6 Dec. 2019 The guys in Brockhampton have often likened the group to a boy band, which has felt more like a conversation-starter than a legit classification. Piet Levy, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Brockhampton brings bangers to Milwaukee's Eagles Ballroom, and 30 fans onto the stage," 5 Dec. 2019 Deputies with the Santa Cruz Sheriff's Office are among those who have recently adopted the technology, which many on social media have likened to a tether-type tool used by the the fictional comic book hero Batman. CBS News, "Los Angeles Police testing non-lethal device capable of detaining people from up to 25 feet away," 3 Dec. 2019 Morales’ supporters have likened his resignation to a coup d'etat – an assertion echoed by some Washington lawmakers. Fox News, "Bolivia opposition leader declares herself president after Evo Morales’ resignation," 13 Nov. 2019 Even some critics who have praised Scorsese's film, citing have likened it to a TV miniseries -- hardly a slight, given the extraordinary work that's being done for television. Brian Lowry, CNN, "'The Irishman' tests 'cinema' label while courting Oscar voters," 4 Nov. 2019 Pauline Hanson, leader of the populist One Nation party, has likened the ban to a shutdown of Bondi, Sydney’s most famous beach. The Economist, "Australians resent a ban on climbing their country’s most famous rock," 24 Oct. 2019 Critics have likened the dynamic to online gambling. Washington Post, "Andrew Yang weighs in on loot boxes, Hong Kong and video game addiction," 23 Oct. 2019 For this reason, some commentators have likened the H-1B program to indentured servitude. Noah Smith, The Denver Post, "Noah Smith: The U.S. needs more of India’s and China’s best and brightest," 22 Oct. 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

12 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Liken.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 14 December 2019.

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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

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to assail by words or arguments

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