There are 2 main definitions of like in English:

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like 1

Pronunciation: /līk/


1Having the same characteristics or qualities as; similar to: there were other suits like mine in the shop they were like brothers she looked nothing like Audrey Hepburn
More example sentences
  • I also noticed he had a corduroy suit in his bag just like mine.
  • He is like a brother to me and has got me through a lot and has always been there.
  • The firework went off right above the car, it was like a bomb, and it frightened the life out of Declan.
similar to, the same as, identical to
1.1In the manner of; in the same way or to the same degree as: he was screaming like a banshee you must run like the wind
More example sentences
  • She seems to be the only one who manages to keep him from screaming like a baby.
  • If I ever see octopus again I will either collapse in a heap or scream like a maniac.
  • Paul was trampled on by the home team and screamed like a pig.
in the same way as, in the same manner as, in the manner of, in a similar way to
1.2In a way appropriate to: students were angry at being treated like children
More example sentences
  • Even France's old colony of Algeria treated him like a returning hero on his recent visit.
  • We don't want to keep moving around all the time, but we have no choice and we are sick of being treated like animals.
  • She is married and loves her husband but he treats her like a child because he is much older than she is.
1.3Such as one might expect from; characteristic of: just like you to put a damper on people’s enjoyment
More example sentences
  • Where is my son? It's not like him to be late.
  • It's just like you to blame me for something I obviously didn't do!
  • It was so like James to use every opportunity possible to boost his own ego.
characteristic of, typical of, in character with
1.4Used in questions to ask about the characteristics or nature of someone or something: What is it like to be a tuna fisherman? What’s she like?
More example sentences
  • As I sit looking at their photos, I cannot imagine what it must be like for their family.
  • Those of you who wonder what it must be like to live with a writer, wonder no more.
  • I cannot imagine what it must be like to see your best friend die in front of you.
2Used to draw attention to the nature of an action or event: I apologize for coming over unannounced like this why are you talking about me like that?
More example sentences
  • Why do we continue to treat teachers like this, when they have the most important job?
  • It seems you have been through a lot with this person but that does not mean it gives him the right to treat you like this.
  • The bill is the only thing I expect to ask for in a classy restaurant like this!
3Such as; for example: the cautionary vision of works like Animal Farm and 1984
More example sentences
  • How did it help you and your work, working with an established artist like Henry Moore?
  • On Sunday the church services will focus on the work of agencies like World Vision.
  • Players, particularly young ones like those at City, need to feel confident to perform.


1In the same way that; as: people who change countries like they change clothes
More example sentences
  • I didn't like the idea of it, but the guy was just doing his job, like I was doing mine.
  • The French bounced back really well, like we expected them to as Six Nations champions.
  • When he came in from Saints last season he possibly expected people around him to think like he did.
2As though; as if: I felt like I’d been kicked by a camel
More example sentences
  • Well, it's not like anything exciting is happening today, is it?
  • It's like all the bad qualities that some adults have are being copied by many kids.
  • At times I had to slow down because the car made it feel like you were going slower than you actually were.


1Used with reference to a person or thing of the same kind as another: the quotations could be arranged to put like with like I know him—him and his like
More example sentences
  • You probably know the fundamental law of all magnets: opposites attract and likes repel.
  • The problem with league tables is they never compare like with like.
  • How many wars does it take before he and his like learn that there are no winners in war, only losers?
1.1 (the like) A thing or things of the same kind (often used to express surprise or for emphasis): did you ever hear the like? a church interior the like of which he had never seen before
More example sentences
  • This is not just a movie, it is a cinematic experience the likes of which I have never seen before.
  • You are playing a new breed of football, the likes of which the country has never seen.
  • Hong Kong developers haven't seen the likes of this rental market since 1997.


1(Of a person or thing) having similar qualities or characteristics to another person or thing: I responded in like manner the grouping of children of like ability together
More example sentences
  • The ICC statute itself suggests that the new court will not treat like cases in a like manner.
  • The artist beamed and continued in like manner giving me enough copy for a small report.
  • There were a number of matters of a like nature which went before the Federal Court.
1.1British (Of a portrait or other image) having a faithful resemblance to the original: “Who painted the dog’s picture? It’s very like.”
More example sentences
  • Who painted the dog's picture? It -- it's very like.


1 informal Used in speech as a meaningless filler or to signify the speaker’s uncertainty about an expression just used: there was this funny smell—sort of dusty like
More example sentences
  • I just - you know, I just kind of like mind my own business.
  • Ben Kweller and his band certainly did that alright - they like totally rocked, man.
  • And then she said I was right! I was like so amazed!
2 informal Used to convey a person’s reported attitude or feelings in the form of direct speech (whether or not representing an actual quotation): so she comes into the room and she’s like “Where is everybody?”
More example sentences
  • She's got her Nativity play coming up, and she's like, ’Mummy, I'm going to sing on the stage like you.’
  • I'm trying to work, and this guy is looking over my shoulder and after a while I notice and I'm like, ‘What are you doing?’
  • So I decided to go swimming with Peter, and we did for a little bit. Then he's like, ‘Do you want to see my car?’
3 (like as/to) archaic In the manner of: like as a ship with dreadful storm long tossed


The use of like as a conjunction meaning ‘as’ or ‘as if’ ( I don’t have a wealthy set of in-laws like you do; they sit up like they’re begging for food) is considered by many to be incorrect. Although like has been used as a conjunction in this way since the 15th century by many respected writers, it is still frowned upon and considered unacceptable in formal English. In more precise use, like is a preposition, used before nouns and pronouns: to fly like a bird; a town like ours. See also go1 (usage).



and the like

And similar things; et cetera.
Example sentences
  • I owe some of my initial successes to old friends at Oxford who put me in touch with publishers and the like.
  • I've spent the entire day sorting and washing baby clothes and the like.
  • The boot includes hooks for shopping bags and the like and the exterior is enhanced by alloy wheels.

like anything

informal To a great degree: they would probably worry like anything
More example sentences
  • There's a green haze on the trees, and the snowdrops are blooming like anything.
  • On one side there is a tremendous financial crunch and on the other the ministers are spending money like anything.
  • We've got to fight like anything to recover the position that we had even in 1945.

(as) like as not

Probably: she would be in bed by now, like as not
More example sentences
  • That'll keep me busy tomorrow and, like as not, the day after that, too.
  • I shall suffer some indigestion tomorrow like as not, and serve me right.
  • Art supplies are available on the Internet, of course, and cheaper, like as not.

like enough (or most like)

archaic Probably: he’ll have lost a deal of blood, I dare say, and like enough he’s still losing it
More example sentences
  • The result of the enterprise would most like have a different outcome.

like ——, like ——

As —— is, so is ——: like father, like son
More example sentences
  • My research shows that it's pretty much a case of ‘like father, like son’ - kids learn how to deal with difficult situations from their parents.
  • I hadn't expected her daughter to be taught to follow in her footsteps. Then again, like mother like daughter, hmm?

like so

informal In this manner: the votive candles are arranged like so
More example sentences
  • First spread the cream, and then place the preserves on top like so.
  • Come here and turn around and put your arms up like so.

the likes of

informal Used of someone or something regarded as a type: she didn’t want to associate with the likes of me
More example sentences
  • This is where you are likely to find the likes of Mick Jagger, Elton John and other superstars.
  • The sound has been compared to the likes of Pavement, The Pixies and Talking Heads.
  • There was a certain romance in crime when we felt that the likes of Michael Corleone were behind it all.

more like

informal Nearer to (a specified number or description) than one previously given: he believes the figure should be more like $10 million
More example sentences
  • A couple of fights will build my confidence up and the training will be more like five times a week.
  • This would not be a case of losing valuable seconds to get to the fire but more like quite a few minutes.
  • If you look at total jobs lost, it's more like 1.1 or 1.2 million.
(more like it)8.1 Nearer to what is required or expected; more satisfactory.
Example sentences
  • French apple tart with cinnamon, that's more like it.
  • Meanwhile, next door - this is more like it - The Proclaimers are about to get down to some heavy-duty havering.
  • ‘That was more like it,’ he said, after making birdies at each of his last two holes.

of (a) like mind

(Of a person) sharing the same opinions or tastes.
Example sentences
  • In most matters he and Black were of like mind, however.
  • We seem to be of like mind when it comes to football and football matters.
  • Both father and son share a passion for politics and strong beliefs in the importance of family values, although they have not always been of a like mind politically.


Middle English: from líkr; related to alike.

Words that rhyme with like

alike, bike, haik, hike, mic, mike, mislike, pike, psych, psyche, shrike, spike, strike, trike, tyke, Van Dyck, vandyke

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: like

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There are 2 main definitions of like in English:

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like 2

Pronunciation: /līk/


[with object]
1Find agreeable, enjoyable, or satisfactory: I like all Angela Carter’s stories people who don’t like reading books I like to be the center of attention
More example sentences
  • He was one of those kids who was good looking, clever, good at sport and liked by everybody.
  • I'm liking Craig Ferguson more and more as time goes by.
  • One thing I particularly like about living here is that it's dead quiet at night.
be fond of, be attached to, have a soft spot for, have a liking for, have regard for, think well of, admire, respect, esteem;
be attracted to, fancy, find attractive, be keen on, be taken with;
informal be crazy about, have a crush on, have a thing for, have the hots for, dig, take a shine to
enjoy, have a taste for, have a preference for, have a liking for, be partial to, find/take pleasure in, be keen on, find agreeable, have a penchant for, have a passion for, find enjoyable;
appreciate, love, adore, relish
informal have a thing about, be into, be mad about, be hooked on, get a kick out of
1.1(In the context of social media) indicate one’s approval of or support for (someone or something) by means of a particular icon or link: more than 15,000 Facebook users had liked his page by Monday morning
More example sentences
  • You have to follow them or like them on Facebook to get an invite, which creates more buzz.
  • The trouble is that big brands pay people to create Facebook profiles to "like" their brand and share with their "friends".
  • I have a facebook page with 10,000 + followers and a recent post had 21 people liking it and 5 comments.
2Wish for; want: would you like a cup of coffee? I’d like to rent a car [with object and infinitive]: I’d like you to stay [no object]: we would like for you to work for us
More example sentences
  • However, as I work flat out, it's difficult to find as much time as I'd like for this.
  • He was very special to me and I would like for everybody to know what a wonderful man he was.
  • I have nothing against Mick and would have liked him to stay on as manager until the end of the season.
2.1 (would like to do something) Used as a polite formula: we would like to apologize for the late running of this service
More example sentences
  • Inquiries are ongoing and police would like to hear from anyone who may have seen this man.
  • We would like to apologise to Mr Murphy for any distress that this failure has caused.
  • I would like to thank all of the fans for the support and understanding they have shown.
2.2 (not like doing/to do something) Feel reluctant to do something: I don’t like leaving her on her own too long
More example sentences
  • Democratic politicians may not like to admit this; yet it is an obvious truth.
  • They may not like to acknowledge it, but they have reason to be grateful to winemakers in the new world.
  • While she does not like to discuss it, they do regard themselves as a couple.
2.3Choose to have (something); prefer: how do you like your coffee?
More example sentences
  • I knew that she didn't drink coffee and that she liked her tea strong and sweet.
  • Why do I care if my neighbour likes the guys instead of the girls?
  • The violent action thriller starred Richard Roundtree as the superfly sleuth who likes his women hot, his villains iced and his coffee black.
2.4 [in questions] Feel about or regard (something): how would you like it if it happened to you?
More example sentences
  • Now just think about that, how would you like it if your daughter went out with someone you went to high school with?
  • How would he like 140 lorries a day passing his house for at least five years?
  • Neil, how would you like to come see a movie with me tomorrow?
feel about, regard, think about, consider


1The things one likes or prefers: a wide variety of likes, dislikes, tastes, and income levels
More example sentences
  • Explain anything the babysitter needs to know about your child, such as bedtime or feeding routines, ways to comfort and likes and dislikes.
  • Before getting married, we didn't know each other's likes and dislikes, each other's desires to have or not have children, and each other's desires as to state of residency.
  • Joanne, a dementia nurse, noticed that the most anxious and volatile of her charges became calm and happy when their individual likes and dislikes were noticed and respected.
1.1(In the context of social media) an indication of approval of or support for someone or something, expressed by means of a particular icon or link: pages that rank well are likely to receive high numbers of likes because they are highly visible in the search engines
More example sentences
  • I posted a link to an article about this issue on the company's facebook page, it got a few likes, then they removed it about 10 minutes after I posted it and replaced it with their press release.
  • Within twelve minutes, it had accumulated sixty 'likes' (users who show approval by clicking on a heart).
  • Now, there's a "Let James Go to Prom" page on Facebook that has tens of thousands of likes already this morning.



if you like

1If it suits or pleases you: we could go riding if you like
More example sentences
  • Use low-fat dairy products if you like which still add flavour with just a minimum amount of fat.
  • It's cordless, so you can then pick it up and bring it right to the table, if you like.
  • You can feel sorry for me if you like but really it's not necessary.
2Used when expressing something in a new or unusual way: it’s a whole new branch of chemistry, a new science if you like
More example sentences
  • They're spending ten billion to not have to spend twenty billion, if you like.
  • To understand showbiz you have to realise that there is a great snobbery, a pecking order if you like, and movies are at the top.
  • Whatever the pub there is always one thing, good or bad, to set it apart - its own unique selling point if you like.

I like that!

Used as an exclamation expressing affront.
Example sentences
  • Well I like that, gang up on me why don't you?
  • ‘I like that,’ she said indignantly. ‘How utterly selfish of him.’

like it or not

informal Used to indicate that someone has no choice in a matter: you’re celebrating with us, like it or not
More example sentences
  • Nobody likes change but things will change whether we like it or not.
  • Whether we like it or not, the vast majority of children these days have mobile phones.
  • The fact is that his decision will, like it or not, generate public interest.

not like the look (or sound) of

Find worrying or alarming: I don’t like the look of that head injury
More example sentences
  • He didn't like the look of either of them, and from the glares both of them gave him it was obvious that the feeling was very mutual.
  • ‘I don't like the sound of the plans,’ he said, ‘and I'm going to support those opposing the development.’
  • But I don't like the sound of such totalitarian measures.

what's not to like?

informal Used as a rhetorical expression of approval or satisfaction: cleaner air, cooler temperatures, and mountain views—what’s not to like?
More example sentences
  • He's tall, he's gorgeous, he's built, he's intelligent what's not to like?
  • What's not to like about her? "
  • Tall (enough), dark, handsome, what's not to like?


Old English līcian 'be pleasing', of Germanic origin; related to Dutch lijken.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: like

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