re·​sem·​ble | \ ri-ˈzem-bəl How to pronounce resemble (audio) \
resembled; resembling\ ri-​ˈzem-​b(ə-​)liŋ How to pronounce resembling (audio) \

Definition of resemble

transitive verb

1 : to be like or similar to he resembles his father
2 archaic : to represent as like

Examples of resemble in a Sentence

He strongly resembles his father in appearance and in temperament. Terrier dogs closely resemble each other.
Recent Examples on the Web Across the river in Southeast Portland, students at Cleveland High circulated photos of a cake that appeared to resemble blackface days after a noose was found in one of the building’s entryways. oregonlive, "From climate strikes to a football coach’s heroism: The 12 biggest education stories of 2019," 5 Jan. 2020 The class went from a quiet space of soothing stretches, to resembling a battle arena with a soundtrack of blood-curdling yells. Carly Mallenbaum, USA TODAY, "From rowing to kendo: Why I learn new sports on trips and you should, too," 31 Dec. 2019 Better to paint your ceiling a very light blue to resemble the sky or use the same color as the trim. Elizabeth Mayhew, Washington Post, "6 decorating trends that need to die," 31 Dec. 2019 Hungary -- with its crackdown on the media and civil society, and concentration of power at the top -- is beginning to resemble Russia and Turkey under the leadership of Prime Minister Viktor Orban. Angela Dewan, CNN, "Democracy has taken a detour this century. Can it get back on track?," 28 Dec. 2019 As documented on Haddow’s personal blog, skulls covered with plaster to resemble living people, their eye sockets decorated with cowrie shells and other ornaments, represent just one example of secondary burial rites practiced at Çatalhöyük. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, "Archaeologists Unearth Beads Made of Human Teeth in Ancient Turkish City," 16 Dec. 2019 The UK’s shift to the right—starting with the Brexit referendum in 2016, a few months before Trump’s victory—is said to resemble America’s. Cassie Werber, Quartz, "Boris Johnson won. Now the Trump comparisons will be put to the test," 14 Dec. 2019 In recent years, however, school days in the North have come to resemble those in the South—at least for a select few. The Economist, "Hungry for knowledge Private tutors are illegal in North Korea, but thriving," 12 Dec. 2019 And at the bottom — above his neck and below the mohawk — Sorenson shaved his customer's hair to resemble pool balls resting in their triangle holder. Cathy Kozlowicz, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "'I feel like I am walking away from my family': Menomonee Falls barber Pete Sorenson is retiring after 45 years," 11 Dec. 2019

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

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for resemble

Middle English, from Anglo-French resembler, from re- + sembler to be like, seem, from Latin similare to copy, from similis like — more at same

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about resemble

Time Traveler for resemble

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Statistics for resemble

Last Updated

11 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Resemble.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 19 January 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for resemble


How to pronounce resemble (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of resemble

: to look or be like (someone or something)


re·​sem·​ble | \ ri-ˈzem-bəl How to pronounce resemble (audio) \
resembled; resembling

Kids Definition of resemble

: to be like or similar to This house resembles mine.

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on resemble

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


to insert between existing elements

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

The Eponym Quiz

  • rubens painting
  • Which is the best synonym of bowdlerize?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Syn City

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!