like·​ness ˈlīk-nəs How to pronounce likeness (audio)
: the quality or state of being like : resemblance
Choose the Right Synonym for likeness

likeness, similarity, resemblance, similitude, analogy mean agreement or correspondence in details.

likeness implies a closer correspondence than similarity which often implies that things are merely somewhat alike.

a remarkable likeness to his late father
some similarity between the two cases

resemblance implies similarity chiefly in appearance or external qualities.

statements that bear little resemblance to the truth

similitude applies chiefly to correspondence between abstractions.

two schools of social thought showing points of similitude

analogy implies likeness or parallelism in relations rather than in appearance or qualities.

pointed out analogies to past wars

Examples of likeness in a Sentence

a stamp bearing the likeness of a president There's some likeness between them. There's an uncanny likeness between them.
Recent Examples on the Web Perhaps the most dominant bears your likeness, leading fans to The Johnny Cash Museum. Jeremy Helligar, Peoplemag, 18 Nov. 2023 Kelly’s refusal to promote the team’s name, image and likeness efforts that are the lifeblood of recruiting and roster retention could lead to diminished talent in seasons to come. Ben Bolch, Los Angeles Times, 13 Nov. 2023 There’s guidelines around synthetic fakes, or fake performers who are based on the image and likeness of an actor, which is used to train generative AI. Charisma Madarang, Rolling Stone, 10 Nov. 2023 The goal of the service is to help candidates protect the use of their content and likeness, and prevent deceiving information from being shared. Called Content Credentials as a Service, users like electoral campaigns can use the tool to attach information to an image or video’s metadata. Emilia David, The Verge, 8 Nov. 2023 While copyright law doesn’t account for a person’s voice or face, some states carry right of publicity laws that protect against unauthorized commercial uses of a person’s name, likeness and persona. Winston Cho, The Hollywood Reporter, 7 Nov. 2023 The union also wants minimum pay rates for the use of AI to create digital likenesses, as well as ironclad consent requirements. Gene Maddaus, Variety, 6 Nov. 2023 His genius boils down to a contradiction: loose, unblended smears of paint that create the flesh-and-blood likeness of a human being. Zachary Fine, The New Yorker, 3 Nov. 2023 As former president Donald Trump’s sons took the stand in the civil fraud trial against their family business, Donald Trump Jr. made a four-word request to the sketch artist capturing his image and likeness in the courtroom. Timothy Bella, Washington Post, 3 Nov. 2023 See More

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

Word History

First Known Use

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of likeness was before the 12th century

Dictionary Entries Near likeness

Cite this Entry

“Likeness.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


like·​ness ˈlīk-nəs How to pronounce likeness (audio)
: a picture especially of a person : portrait
: the quality or state of being like : resemblance

More from Merriam-Webster on likeness

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