like·ness | \ˈlīk-nəs \

Definition of likeness 

1 : copy, portrait

3 : the quality or state of being like : resemblance

Keep scrolling for more

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.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web

When Canova’s statue arrived in Raleigh, N.C., in 1821, the American press went wild for the likeness of the first president, wearing Roman military dress and drafting his farewell address, by the Italian neoclassical sculptor. New York Times, "23 Art Exhibitions to View in N.Y.C. This Weekend," 12 July 2018 Billboards rise high above the streets, advertising haute couture or exclusive real estate, or bearing the unsmiling likeness of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, prime minister of the UAE and ruler of Dubai., "Exiled by the Cubs, Sammy Sosa Is Enjoying the Life He Wants You to See," 27 June 2018 One features the likenesses of Pope Francis and the president while another celebrates Trump’s summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, the New York Times reported. Andrew O'reilly, Fox News, "Trump's challenge coins create both controversy and cash grab," 24 June 2018 Many relatives of the men killed attended the dedication of the memorial, which carries the likeness of each man. Washington Post, "Alaska city honors Guardsmen killed in crash after ‘64 quake," 23 June 2018 Many relatives of the men killed planned to attend the dedication of the memorial, which carries the likeness of each man. Mark Thiessen, Anchorage Daily News, "Valdez honors Alaska Guardsmen killed in plane crash after 1964 earthquake," 23 June 2018 In an ad run last year, Burger King Russia used the likeness of a girl who had been raped at a house party as part of a buy one get one free burger offer. Natasha Bach, Fortune, "Burger King Thought It Was a Great Idea to Offer Free Whoppers to Women Who Get Impregnated by World Cup Players," 21 June 2018 Family members and friends of Tanisha Harris watched during the proceedings, many wearing pins adorned with the likeness of their loved one. Hana Muslic, kansascity, "At hearing for OP man accused of killing wife, man testifies he was defendant’s lover," 19 June 2018 Click ahead to see some of the most elaborate tattoos done in the likeness of a fan’s favorite celebrity. Samantha Sasso,, "Are These Celebrity Fan Tattoos Awesome Or Creepy? You Decide," 13 June 2018

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

See More

First Known Use of likeness

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about likeness

Phrases Related to likeness

a good likeness

Statistics for likeness

Last Updated

4 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for likeness

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for likeness



English Language Learners Definition of likeness

: a picture of a person

: the quality or state of being alike or similar especially in appearance


like·ness | \ˈlīk-nəs \

Kids Definition of likeness

1 : the state of being similar : resemblance

2 : a picture of a person : portrait

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on likeness

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for likeness

Spanish Central: Translation of likeness

Nglish: Translation of likeness for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of likeness for Arabic Speakers

Comments on likeness

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


a generally accepted meaning of a word

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Great Scrabble Words—A Quiz

  • scrabble-tiles-that-read-scrabble-quiz
  • Which of the following Q-without-U words means the number five in cards or dice?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!