like·​ness | \ˈlīk-nəs \

Definition of likeness 

1 : copy, portrait

3 : the quality or state of being like : resemblance

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms for likeness


icon (also ikon), illustration, image, picture

Visit the Thesaurus 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

They’re done not always for exact likeness, and many paintings were made for set dressing, because Van Gogh was living amongst his paintings. Alissa Wilkinson, Vox, "How Willem Dafoe learned to paint like Vincent Van Gogh," 14 Nov. 2018 Flyers stapled to light posts curse techies, and likenesses of CEO Bezos spray-painted on the street with unfavorable slogans mark many spots on Capitol Hill. Rachel Lerman, The Seattle Times, "HQ2: What’s in it for New York, Virginia sites? Amazon lays out some perks," 13 Nov. 2018 Sony Sony The new generation of Aibo is greatly improved in terms of sheer dog-likeness. Liz Stinson, Curbed, "Sony’s $2,900 robot dog now on sale in the U.S.," 20 Sep. 2018 Either way, both Piggy Smallz and its tattooed-on likeness are undeniably cute. Emily Wang, Teen Vogue, "Pete Davidson Got a Tattoo in Honor of His Pet Pig," 17 Sep. 2018 Reporters covering the summit were given swag bags with cardboard fans, water bottles and notebooks showing stylized likenesses of Trump and Kim. Victoria Kim,, "Kim arrives in Singapore for historic meeting with Trump, 'unknown territory' in the world of diplomacy," 10 June 2018 Garner channeled Elphaba in honor of the October 31 festivities, and the likeness was probably enough to terrify every child in the Los Angeles area, as well as anyone else who happened to come across Stiles' Instagram feed on Wednesday afternoon. Zoe Weiner, Allure, "Jennifer Garner Transforms Into the Wicked Witch for Halloween, Thanks to Makeup Artist Fiona Stiles," 31 Oct. 2018 De Havilland objected to her depiction on the show, saying her likeness was illegally used and her character, played by Catherine Zeta-Jones, came across as a vulgar gossipmonger. Fox News, "Olivia de Havilland files 'Feud' defamation lawsuit appeal," 2 Oct. 2018 For TheWaveVR’s part, this project is particularly special because of its vibrant, three-dimensional likeness of Heap. Dani Deahl, The Verge, "Inside Imogen Heap’s cutting-edge VR concert," 23 Aug. 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

Statistics for likeness

Last Updated

13 Dec 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 typical or ideal example

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Find the Cousins

  • a-large-tree-with-many-branches
  • Which pair shares a common word ancestor?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Add Diction

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!