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

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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web One of Chad Morris’ longtime support staffers is joining the new Tigers offensive coordinator in a similar role on the Plains. Tom Green |, al, "Longtime Chad Morris staffer joins Auburn as offensive analyst," 18 Feb. 2020 The pair shared similar messages of devotion on their Instagram stories on Valentine's Day, as People reports. Emily Dixon, Marie Claire, "Miley Cyrus Said She's "Best Friends" With BF Cody Simpson," 17 Feb. 2020 Cummings said city residents’ privacy should be a priority and a lot of similar technology remains in an infancy stage. Alejandro Serrano,, "The Scanner: SF’s Boudin, other district attorneys condemn Barr’s criticism," 17 Feb. 2020 Trump told a similar story at the Conservative Political Action Conference just outside of Washington on Feb. 27, 2017. Michael Collins, USA TODAY, "The Donald Trump tales: The president repeats the same stories, but the details often change," 17 Feb. 2020 Tale of two taxes Six miles south of Bloomfield Township’s main fire hall, and another six miles east, is a smaller community but with very similar affluence. Bill Laitner, Detroit Free Press, "Bloomfield fire chief begs, 'Guys, don’t quit yet' before millage vote's possible layoffs," 17 Feb. 2020 Elsewhere in the National League West, the projections call for similar win totals from the Padres, and that’s more understandable there, given all the untapped upside on San Diego’s roster. Jeremy Cluff, azcentral, "Arizona Diamondbacks deserve more attention entering season: 'As good a winter as anybody'," 17 Feb. 2020 In a human study, Picciotto observed similar behaviors, where children who were exposed to nicotine before birth were more likely to have an emotional overreaction to stress. Sarah Allen, Science | AAAS, "Teen vaping is bad. Nicotine makes it worse, says researcher," 16 Feb. 2020 Setting aside software, the PS4 and Xbox One are two very similar machines. Brittany Vincent, Popular Mechanics, "Which Is Better: Xbox One or PlayStation 4?," 16 Feb. 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.

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First Known Use of similar

1611, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for similar

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

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Time Traveler for similar

Time Traveler

The first known use of similar was in 1611

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Statistics for similar

Last Updated

20 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Similar.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Feb. 2020.

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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

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More from Merriam-Webster on similar

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for similar

Spanish Central: Translation of similar

Nglish: Translation of similar for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of similar for Arabic Speakers

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