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


analogize, assimilate, bracket, compare, equate



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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

Especially because Kelly herself likened it to one of our favorite former sitcoms, Designing Women. Blair Donovan, Country Living, "Kelly Clarkson's 'Voice' Outfit Was Inspired by 'Designing Women' and Fans Are Losing It," 30 Apr. 2019 Christina Agapakis, Ginkgo’s Creative Director and biotech leader, likened the process to brewing beer. Jill Kiedaisch, Popular Mechanics, "You Can Now Smell a Flower That Went Extinct a Century Ago," 16 Apr. 2019 Krantz likened the situation to that of the town’s other taproom, Independent Brewing Co. in the 400 block of North Main Street, which opened in late 2015. Allan Vought, The Aegis, "Bel Air may expand food truck zone to include Main and Baltimore Pike," 13 Apr. 2018 Gaultier likens the samba school’s creative work to a fashion designer’s—both work intensively for six months for a few minutes in the spotlight. Hamish Bowles, Vogue, "Hamish Bowles Sambas His Way Through Rio de Janeiro’s Carnaval," 22 Mar. 2019 Reishi mushroom, another buzzy ingredient at the moment, is another ingredient King likens ginseng to. Devon Abelman, Allure, "Why You’re Seeing Ginseng in So Many Korean Skin-Care Products Right Now," 8 Mar. 2019 Fashion house Gucci has apologized for being insensitive after pulling a sweater that critics likened to blackface, while Florida’s secretary of state resigned last month after photos were published showing him in blackface at a 2005 party. Melissa Korn, WSJ, "Colleges Continue to Confront Blackface on Campus," 14 Feb. 2019 Among the talented vocalists, 19-year-old Myra Tran made such a lasting impression on the judges that Luke Bryan likened her to the series' season one winner. Blair Donovan, Country Living, "'American Idol' Judges Think This 19-Year-Old Contestant Is as Good as Kelly Clarkson," 4 Mar. 2019 Dennis Hof, the infamous pimp and Nevada state Assembly candidate who has likened himself to President Trump, has officially lost his brothel license. Kaitlyn Schallhorn, Fox News, "Nevada pimp running for state Assembly loses brothel license," 9 Aug. 2018

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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Statistics for liken

Last Updated

16 May 2019

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Time Traveler for liken

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

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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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with liken

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for liken

Spanish Central: Translation of liken

Nglish: Translation of liken for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of liken for Arabic Speakers

Comments on liken

What made you want to look up liken? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a sum of money that is sent as a payment

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