Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to: navigation, search

What about the phrase "What's it like...[someplace]?" doesn't seem to be here. 20:53, 30 October 2011 (UTC)

Need to add the like as in I've never seen the like. and the likes of as in I've never seen the likes of that. or the likes of which I've never seen.

Both of these may be dated and/or regional, and it would be nice to get some data points on usage.

-dmh 16:05, 25 May 2004 (UTC)


A etymology of like would be nice

Such As[edit]

Don't we need a 'such as' type of like described? The speaker addressed many of Reed's strengths, like its nuclear reactor, its small class sizes, and its penchant for celebrating the elements of the periodic table.

Particle Etymologies[edit]

Are the colloquial particle senses sense really from Old English?? —This unsigned comment was added by Language Lover (talkcontribs) at 14:03, 27 November 2007 (UTC).

I'm not at all sure about the "filler" senses, but the others seem derived from the adjective. DCDuring TALK 11:49, 17 December 2008 (UTC)

Etymology 2[edit]

it says the "similar" etymology is from old english "lic," meaning "corpse." Has this been proven? It seems to me like "gelic," "Alike," would be more likely. —This unsigned comment was added by (talk) at 22:42, 16 December 2008.

Thanks. I have edited Etymology 2 along those lines. I didn't insert a more complete ety that would make clear exactly how "lik" is a cognate, because I have no confidence in my ability to grasp the inferences for unattested words in hypothesised languages - not that I doubt the scholarship. Those derivations show ancestor of gelic < ancestor of ge- "corresponding", "together", "with" + ancestor of lik, "body". DCDuring TALK 11:27, 17 December 2008 (UTC)

Tea room discussion[edit]

Like is used informally to form an adverb from an adjective ending in -ly. See, e.g., google books:"all|smiled|smiling silly|friendly like" subject:fiction. Sometimes it's bound with a hyphen to the adjective, as friendly-like, sometimes it's separated from it by a space, as friendly like; I haven't examined relative frequencies, though that would be wise. What POS is this? And what pagename: [[-like]] or [[like]]?​—msh210 17:08, 5 November 2009 (UTC)

If the resulting terms aren't spelled solid, then it should be at "like", I think. It seems to be an adverb. DCDuring TALK 17:15, 5 November 2009 (UTC)
Actually, I'm seeing some uses that make friendly[-| ]like seem like an adjective: "they are all friendly like to him"[1], for example. Thoughts?​—msh210 18:14, 6 November 2009 (UTC)

Facebook like[edit]

Wonder if Facebook has done something to this word. "I liked Coca-Cola" doesn't necessarily mean that you don't like it anymore, as it may just as well mean that I pressed the like button on Facebook and became a follower of Coca Cola. It is quite widespread, should it be added to the dictionary? Eivind (t) 07:06, 28 March 2011 (UTC)

I agree there is an emerging new sense here. ("I liked Coca-Cola at 18:03 today, but my page didn't register the change until 18:07.") But I don't know whether it's unique to Facebook or whether other sites have the same thing. In any case, single-site words like tweet have become so widespread that we have them anyway, so this should probably be added. Equinox 00:22, 9 March 2012 (UTC)
...aaaand someone's just added it. Equinox 22:21, 11 March 2012 (UTC)

Changing the article[edit]

I just want to know if this words should be capitalized or not per the the English Wikipedian naming conventions, which states that any preposition shorter than five characters should be capitalized. See, I'm really starting to think that the preposition like is a preposition, but mixed with an adjective form. The following sentence: a subject like physics (sentence taken from Isn't an adjective a descriptive word? This preposition is in similarity to, which describes something, could we also consider it an ajective? Because adjectives should be capitalized per the naming conventions, and I'm wondering if even if it was mixed with a preposition would it be capitalized or not. --Ian Streeter (talk) 22:26, 8 March 2012 (UTC)

  • You seem to be talking about article titles in Wikipedia. This is Wiktionary - we do thing properly here. Prepositions are never capitalized. SemperBlotto (talk) 22:31, 8 March 2012 (UTC)
    • But I NEEDED to know if it was capitalized or not? And i also want to know if like could also be considered an adjective also. Ian Streeter (talk) 22:36, 8 March 2012 (UTC)
In "a subject like physics", it's a preposition. Compare "a place near school", "a person beside you". On the other hand, alike is an adjective: "maths and physics are alike". Equinox 22:37, 8 March 2012 (UTC)
It is commonly capitalized on English Wikipedian articles. Ian Streeter (talk) 00:17, 9 March 2012 (UTC)
Is it? Please give an example. We do not capitalise our entries unless the word itself is always capitalised, like Germany (not germany). That isn't true for like. We don't use the same rules as Wikipedia. Equinox 00:20, 9 March 2012 (UTC)
OTOH, in "a subject like physics", it can be modified like an adverb: "a subject more like physics", "the subject most like physics". -- JHunterJ (talk) 18:15, 12 November 2012 (UTC)

Meaning "said"[edit]

I can barely believe I'm mentioning this, but there is a very common meaning in the vernacular of the youth that is missing here. Example: I was like "I'm going to the party". Meaning, I said "I'm going to the party".

Myself, I would love to see this usage disappear from the planet, but it is certainly here now. Thoughts? Donpayette (talk) 14:47, 23 July 2012 (UTC)

It's there already. Scroll down to the Particle heading. Equinox 14:49, 23 July 2012 (UTC)
Thanks. Me, I was looking under "verb". Should have asked my wife, she's the English teacher. Donpayette (talk) 15:36, 23 July 2012 (UTC)

Is the preposition definition right?[edit]

i'm wondering if the definition of "somewhat similar to, reminiscent of" for the preposition is accurate. How does it explain constructions such as: "The man looked exactly like his twin"? For me, this means "the man looked identical to his twin", not "the man looked exactly somewhat similar to his twin", which is nonsensical. -- 01:57, 28 November 2012 (UTC)

I think the "exactly" is what is confusing you. Like = somewhat similar to: The man looked like his twin = the man looked similar to his twin.
OTOH, "exactly like" = identical (because of "exactly"). —Stephen (Talk) 03:22, 28 November 2012 (UTC)
I'm not sure what you mean. My point is that when modified by "exactly" the word behaves in a way that is counter to the definition given in this entry. If like meant only "somewhat similar to" then "the man looked exactly like his twin" would mean something like, "it was exactly the case that the man and his twin looked somewhat similar to each other." This is obviously not the case.
For me at least, the preposition seems to refer to a degree of similarity that can range from approximate to completely identical depending on modification by adverbs ("kind of like", "a little bit like", "a lot like" "almost exactly like", "exactly like", "just like"...). This is very different from "similar to" which can only ever indicate approximate similarity, never identical relationships. When modified by adverbs like "exactly" or "just" it only indicates the degree to which this approximate similarity exists. -- 09:40, 28 November 2012 (UTC)
MWOnline has 5 senses of preposition like, one with a few subsenses:
  1. a : having the characteristics of: similar to his house is like a barn, it's like when we were kids
    b : typical of was like him to do that
    c : comparable to : approximating costs something like fifty cents
  2. in the manner of : similarly to acts like a fool
  3. as though there would be looks like rain
  4. such as a subject ;;like physics
  5. —used to form intensive or ironic phrases fought like hell, like fun he did, laughed like anything
We have but one. Our definition is likely to not obviously fit some common uses. DCDuring (talk) 23:14, 19 May 2017 (UTC)

Law Enforcement "Who do you like?"[edit]

This expression means "Who do you suspect?" Don't think this is covered by current entries. JohnI (talk) 12:35, 27 November 2015 (UTC)

  • I have heard it only as "who do you like for <some crime>". SemperBlotto (talk) 12:38, 27 November 2015 (UTC)
    It's not unique to law enforcement. Sports for example, "who do you like to win the Super Bowl?" is the same meaning just different because the contexts are different. Politics: "who do you like for the Democrat nomination" same thing. Renard Migrant (talk) 12:39, 27 November 2015 (UTC)