adjective sim·i·lar \ ˈsi-mə-lər , ˈsim-lər \
|Updated on: 7 Aug 2018

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



Examples of similar in a Sentence

  1. 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 JanaBusiness Week23 & 30 Mar. 2009
  2. 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 McGregorBusiness Week8 Oct. 2007
  3. Though the trends were similar, the new patterns of consumption varied both regionally and nationally, as they continue to do today. —John BrewerNew York Review of Books30 Nov. 2006
  4. Our cats are similar in size.

  5. You two look very similar to each other.

  6. They had similar experiences growing up, even though they came from vastly different backgrounds.

  7. We got remarkably similar results.

  8. I was going to say something similar.

  9. I would have reacted in a similar way if it had happened to me.

Recent Examples of similar from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of similar

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

Synonym Discussion of 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

SIMILAR Defined for English Language Learners


Definition of similar for English Language Learners

  • : almost the same as someone or something else

SIMILAR Defined for Kids


adjective sim·i·lar \ ˈsi-mə-lər \

Definition of similar for Students

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



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excessive admiration or flattery

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