re·​sem·​blance | \ri-ˈzem-blən(t)s \

Definition of resemblance 

1a : the quality or state of resembling especially : correspondence in appearance or superficial qualities

b : a point of likeness : similarity

3 archaic : characteristic appearance

4 obsolete : probability

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Choose the Right Synonym for resemblance

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 resemblance in a Sentence

He doesn't look exactly like his father, but there is some resemblance. There is no resemblance between her and her sister.

Recent Examples on the Web

Soho does bear more than a passing resemblance to his creator, and the series serves as an allegory for the lasting devastation of apartheid and its twin companions, greed and guilt. Julie Belcove, WSJ, "William Kentridge Tackles the History of Apartheid and Colonialism in His Latest Production," 4 Dec. 2018 Even in the dim lighting of Le Bilboquet, Picasso’s physical resemblance to his grandfather is striking. Marley Marius, Vogue, "On the Heels of an $88 Million Picasso Sale, Olivier Widmaier Picasso Talks Art, Life, and His Very Famous Grandfather," 12 Nov. 2018 The eeriest resemblance here comes from K.J. Apa, who clearly put some time into learning Luke Perry’s forehead-wrinkling school of emoting. Constance Grady, Vox, "Riverdale’s return to the ’90s is the show at its nonsensical batshit best," 11 Nov. 2018 All the colorful icons on the screen — the trash can, the mouse pointer, the file folders — bear no resemblance at all to what’s really going on inside the computer. Tim Folger, Discover Magazine, "How Quantum Mechanics Lets Us See, Smell and Touch," 24 Oct. 2018 And in celebration of their visit, one royal photographer shared the most incredible photo on social media, pointing out a major family resemblance. Amy Mackelden, Harper's BAZAAR, "Prince Philip Looks Just Like His Grandson Prince Harry in This Throwback Photo from 1957," 21 Oct. 2018 Food bears zero resemblance to the boxes of communal granola backpackers shared before hitting the Eiffel Tour in the nineties. Erin Florio, Condé Nast Traveler, "Generator, Europe's Hostel for Grown-Ups, Is Opening Soon in Miami," 26 July 2018 For the Hepburn ad, Framestore employed two actors to work as doubles, one whose body looked like Hepburn’s, and one whose face bore a general resemblance. The Economist, "What if AI made actors immortal?," 5 July 2018 Smiley, who possesses a slight British accent and a stunning resemblance to former NFL quarterback Warren Moon, is there for each step, calling out corrections and encouragement in equal measure. Jon Tayler,, "Million Dollar Moves: After His Unlikely Baseball Career Flamed Out, Rinku Singh's Next Stop Is WWE," 3 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'resemblance.' 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 resemblance

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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Statistics for resemblance

Last Updated

11 Dec 2018

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Time Traveler for resemblance

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

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More Definitions for resemblance



English Language Learners Definition of resemblance

: the state of looking or being like someone or something else

: something that makes one person or thing like another


re·​sem·​blance | \ri-ˈzem-bləns \

Kids Definition of resemblance

: the quality or state of being similar to another

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Comments on resemblance

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


the figure or shape of a crescent moon

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