Definition of similar in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈsɪmɪlə/


1Having a resemblance in appearance, character, or quantity, without being identical: a soft cheese similar to Brie northern India and similar areas
More example sentences
  • I think we can expect to hear words very similar to those when the defence sums up its case.
  • Even sinkholes similar to the one last summer have been around since the 18th Century.
  • Spawning takes place between October and December, and is very similar to that of the brown trout.
alike, (much) the same, indistinguishable, close, near, almost identical, homogeneous, interchangeable;
kindred, akin, related
informal much of a muchness
1.1 Geometry (Of geometrical figures) having the same shape, with the same angles and proportions, though of different sizes.
Example sentences
  • When the ratio is 1 then the similar triangles become congruent triangles (same shape and size).


1chiefly archaic A person or thing similar to another: he was one of those whose similar you never meet
More example sentences
  • In other words, if a normal person would say two images are essentially the same, they are "similars."
2 (usually similars) A substance that produces effects resembling the symptoms of particular diseases (the basis of homeopathic treatment): the principle of treatment by similars
More example sentences
  • The law of similars describes how a homeopathic drug is chosen based on its ability, in gross crude form, to produce the symptoms similar to that of a specific disease.
  • Yet despite having demonstrated that the law of similars has not generally been applied to the use of mild herbal substances, one question still remains.
  • Different from herbal remedies, Oscillococcinum is a homeopathic preparation created according to the ‘law of similars,’ which basically states that like will cure like.


The standard construction for similar is with to, as in I’ve had problems similar to yours. However, in British English, the construction similar as is sometimes used instead, as in I’ve had similar problems as yourself. This is not accepted as correct in standard English.


Late 16th century (also as a term in anatomy meaning 'homogeneous'): from French similaire or medieval Latin similaris, from Latin similis 'like'.

  • This was also originally a term in anatomy meaning ‘homogeneous’. It comes from Latin similis ‘like’. The literary device simile for drawing comparisons (Late Middle English) is from the same source; as are simulate (mid 17th century), resemble (Middle English), and semblance (Middle English).

Words that rhyme with similar


For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: simi|lar

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