re·​sem·​blance ri-ˈzem-blən(t)s How to pronounce resemblance (audio)
: the quality or state of resembling
especially : correspondence in appearance or superficial qualities
: a point of likeness : similarity
archaic : characteristic appearance
obsolete : probability
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 Not to mention a certain air of familiarity, thanks to its resemblance to numerous Pixar films and movies like A Monster Calls. Frank Scheck, The Hollywood Reporter, 15 May 2024 On the other side of Winfrey, Apple wore a black suit, bearing a striking resemblance to her mom. Hannah Sacks, Peoplemag, 14 May 2024 See all Example Sentences for resemblance 

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

Word History


Middle English resemblaunce, rassemblaunce "likeness, similarity, appearance, image," borrowed from Anglo-French resemblaunce "outward appearance, likeness, similarity," from resembler "to be like, resemble" + -aunce -ance

First Known Use

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

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

Dictionary Entries Near resemblance

Cite this Entry

“Resemblance.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 May. 2024.

Kids Definition


re·​sem·​blance ri-ˈzem-blən(t)s How to pronounce resemblance (audio)
: the quality or state of resembling : similarity
: a point of likeness

More from Merriam-Webster on resemblance

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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