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 Politicians have likened the fight against the deadly coronavirus to a war, a description designed to rally Americans against a common, unseen foe. Gromer Jeffers Jr., Dallas News, "From Shelley Luther to mail-in voting, ‘war’ against coronavirus hampered by partisan politics," 11 May 2020 Survivors have likened it to the sensation of drowning. Olivia Carville,, "Life After Ventilators Can Be Hell for Coronavirus Survivors," 10 May 2020 For larger targets, the hornet’s potent venom and stinger — long enough to puncture a beekeeping suit — make for an excruciating combination that victims have likened to hot metal driving into their skin. Mike Baker,, "‘Murder hornets’ arrive in US for first time," 2 May 2020 Some prognosticators have likened him to New Orleans Saints do-it-all weapon Taysom Hill. Tom Schad, USA TODAY, "Philadelphia Eagles make surprise QB move in NFL draft, pick Oklahoma's Jalen Hurts," 25 Apr. 2020 Comedians such as Ellen DeGeneres have even jokingly likened self-quarantining to jail. Saida Grundy, The Atlantic, "Why Boredom Affects Us So Much," 17 Apr. 2020 President Donald Trump and others have likened the coronavirus pandemic to fighting a war. Rita Men, The Conversation, "Leading in wartime: 5 ways CEOs should communicate with their workers during coronavirus," 16 Apr. 2020 Company executives have likened the surge in demand to the annual holiday shopping crush. Brian Fung, CNN, "The pandemic is playing to almost every one of Amazon's strengths," 9 Apr. 2020 Other talk show hosts have likened the current pandemic to the H1N1 swine flu, which did not prompt school shutdowns or stay-at-home orders. Jack Gillum, ProPublica, "Even After Trump Declared a National Emergency, Some Talk Radio Hosts Weren’t Convinced," 25 Mar. 2020

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

15 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Liken.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 May. 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

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