sim·​i·​lar | \ ˈsi-mə-lər How to pronounce similar (audio) , ˈsim-lər \

Definition of similar

1 : having characteristics in common : strictly comparable
2 : alike in substance or essentials : corresponding no two animal habitats are exactly similar— W. H. Dowdeswell
3 : not differing in shape but only in size or position similar triangles similar polygons

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from similar

similarly adverb

Choose the Right Synonym for similar

similar, analogous, parallel mean closely resembling each other. similar implies the possibility of being mistaken for each other. all the houses in the development are similar analogous applies to things belonging in essentially different categories but nevertheless having many similarities. analogous political systems parallel suggests a marked likeness in the development of two things. the parallel careers of two movie stars

Examples of similar in a Sentence

This month, General Electric's health-care division will begin marketing a first-of-its-kind electrocardiograph machine in the U.S. Although packed with the latest technology, the battery-powered device weighs just six pounds, half as much as the smallest ECG machine currently for sale. It will retail for a mere $2,500, an 80% markdown from products with similar capabilities. — Reena Jana, Business Week, 23 & 30 Mar. 2009 There's a reason boards of directors can pluck so many CEOs out of one company and plop them into another: When it comes to management ideas and tools, many companies are surprisingly similar. They have the same hierarchies and budgeting processes. — Jena McGregor, Business Week, 8 Oct. 2007 Though the trends were similar, the new patterns of consumption varied both regionally and nationally, as they continue to do today. — John Brewer, New York Review of Books, 30 Nov. 2006 Our cats are similar in size. You two look very similar to each other. They had similar experiences growing up, even though they came from vastly different backgrounds. We got remarkably similar results. I was going to say something similar. I would have reacted in a similar way if it had happened to me.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web Intensive care units are seeing a similar share of elderly patients as in March, the prime minister said. Rudy Ruitenberg,, "France Daily Coronavirus Cases Top 10,000, Most Since Lockdown," 12 Sep. 2020 Interestingly, Carroll’s book also makes a similar allegation against Les Moonves, the former CBS bigwig. Andrew C. Mccarthy, National Review, "Why Government Lawyers Are Defending Trump," 12 Sep. 2020 There have been similar matchups in the West since the league went to this format., "Celtics oust Raptors in Game 7, head to East finals vs. Heat," 12 Sep. 2020 Late-night fights in White Marsh prompted similar calls from Baltimore County officials, who blamed them on city youth. Colin Campbell, Washington Post, "Five years later, many across Baltimore bitterly lament Gov. Hogan’s decision to kill the Red Line light rail," 12 Sep. 2020 The department has deployed rapid-response teams to nursing homes and similar centers when outbreaks have been suspected. Nate Carlisle, The Salt Lake Tribune, "Utah’s new nursing home goal: Keep the coronavirus outbreaks small," 12 Sep. 2020 The story is similar with Hispanic and Latino voters. Arkansas Online, "OPINION | DAVID BYLER: Mostly, Black vote Biden's," 12 Sep. 2020 Global trade in goods has performed a similar death-defying stunt during the covid-19 pandemic. The Economist, "Down but not out How has trade survived covid-19?," 12 Sep. 2020 But some of the upcoming changes raised concerns among independent health experts who worried about another spike in cases like the one that occurred after Vázquez announced similar reopenings in early June, which led to stricter measures in August. Dánica Coto, USA TODAY, "'We have to learn to deal': Puerto Rico to reopen beaches, casinos, gyms after drop in COVID-19 cases," 12 Sep. 2020

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

1586, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for similar

French similaire, from Latin similis like, similar — more at same

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about similar

Time Traveler for similar

Time Traveler

The first known use of similar was in 1586

See more words from the same year

Statistics for similar

Last Updated

15 Sep 2020

Cite this Entry

“Similar.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Sep. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for similar


How to pronounce similar (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of similar

: almost the same as someone or something else


sim·​i·​lar | \ ˈsi-mə-lər How to pronounce similar (audio) \

Kids Definition of similar

: having qualities in common The houses are similar in design.

Other Words from similar

similarly adverb

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on similar

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


Test Your Vocabulary

Homophone Quiz

  • three bears two of them look like theyre whispering to a third bear who looks chuffed to be the center of attention
  • In order to judge how people felt, the senator's office hired a firm to take a ______.
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

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!