like

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See also: Like, -like, lǐkē, lìkè, and liké

English[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

  • enPR: līk, IPA(key): /laɪk/
  • (file)
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -aɪk

Etymology 1[edit]

Verb from Middle English liken, from Old English līcian (to please; be sufficient), from Proto-Germanic *līkāną (to please), from Proto-Indo-European *leyg- (image; likeness; similarity). Cognate with Saterland Frisian liekje (to be similar, resemble), Dutch lijken (to seem), German Low German lieken (to be like; resemble), German gleichen (to resemble), Swedish lika (to like; put up with; align with), Norwegian like (to like), Icelandic líka (to like).

Noun from Middle English like (pleasure, will, like), from the verb Middle English liken (to like).

Verb[edit]

like (third-person singular simple present likes, present participle liking, simple past and past participle liked)

  1. To enjoy, be pleased by; favor; be in favor of.
    Antonyms: dislike, hate, mislike
    I like hamburgers.
    I like skiing in winter.
    I like the Seattle Mariners this season.
  2. (transitive, archaic) To please.
    • 16th century, Sir Philip Sidney, The Countess of Pembroke's Arcadia[1]:
      I willingly confess that it likes me much better when I find virtue in a fair lodging than when I am bound to seek it in an ill-favoured creature.
    • 1608, William Shakespeare, King Lear, Act 2, Scene 2:
      His countenance likes me not.
  3. (obsolete) To derive pleasure of, by or with someone or something.
    • 1662, Thomas Salusbury, Galileo's Dialogue Concerning the Two Systems of the World, (Dialogue Two):
      And therefore it is the best way, if you like of it, to examine these taken from experiments touching the Earth, and then proceed to those of the other kind.
    • 1898, Winston Churchill, chapter 1, in The Celebrity:
      He used to drop into my chambers once in a while to smoke, and was first-rate company. When I gave a dinner there was generally a cover laid for him. I liked the man for his own sake, and even had he promised to turn out a celebrity it would have had no weight with me.
  4. To prefer and maintain (an action) as a regular habit or activity.
    I like to go to the dentist every six months.
    She likes to keep herself physically fit.
    we like to keep one around the office just in case.
    • 2016, VOA Learning English (public domain)[2]:
      People in Washington like to work out!
      (file)
  5. (obsolete) To have an appearance or expression; to look; to seem to be (in a specified condition).
  6. (archaic) To come near; to avoid with difficulty; to escape narrowly.
    He liked to have been too late.
    • 1760, Horace Walpole, The Letters of Horace Walpole: Fourth Earl of Oxford[3], to George Montagu:
      He probably got his death, as he liked to have done two years ago, by viewing the troops for the expedition from the wall of Kensington Garden.
  7. To find attractive; to prefer the company of; to have mild romantic feelings for.
    Synonyms: fancy (British), enjoy, love
    Antonyms: dislike, hate, mislike
    I really like Sandra but don't know how to tell her.
  8. (obsolete) To liken; to compare.
  9. (Internet, transitive) To show support for, or approval of, something posted on the Internet by marking it with a vote.
    Antonym: unlike
    I liked my friend's last status on Facebook.
    I can't stand Bloggs' tomato ketchup, but I liked it on Facebook so I could enter a competition.
  10. (with 'would' and in certain other phrases) To want, desire. See also would like.
    Would you like a cigarette?
    We could go to the museum if you like.
Usage notes[edit]
  • In its senses of “enjoy” and “maintain as a regular habit”, like is a catenative verb; in the former, it usually takes a gerund (-ing form), while in the latter, it takes a to-infinitive. See also Appendix:English catenative verbs.
  • Like is only used to mean “want” in certain expressions, such as “if you like” and “I would like”. The conditional form, would like, is used quite freely as a polite synonym for want.
Conjugation[edit]
Derived terms[edit]
Related terms[edit]
Translations[edit]

Noun[edit]

like (plural likes)

  1. (usually in the plural) Something that a person likes (prefers).
    Synonyms: favorite, preference
    Antonyms: dislike, pet hate, pet peeve
    Tell me your likes and dislikes.
  2. (Internet) An individual vote showing support for, or approval of, something posted on the Internet.
    • 2016, Brooke Warner, Green-Light Your Book:
      Social media is supervisual, and there's nothing more shareable than images, so this is a way to increase shares and likes and follows.
    • 2019, “Balenciaga”, performed by Princess Nokia:
      Dress for myself, I don't dress for hype / I dress for myself, you dress for the likes
    • 2020 January 17, Amy Chozick, “This Is the Guy Who’s Taking Away the Likes”, in New York Times[4]:
      Likes are the social media currency undergirding an entire influencer economy, inspiring a million Kardashian wannabes and giving many of us regular people daily endorphin hits.
Translations[edit]

References[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]

Adjective from Middle English like, lyke, from Old English ġelīċ by shortening, influenced by Old Norse líkr, glíkr; both from Proto-Germanic *galīkaz (like, similar, same). Related to alike; more distantly, with lich and -ly. Cognate with West Frisian like (like; as), Saterland Frisian gliek (like), Danish lig (alike), Dutch gelijk (like, alike), German gleich (equal, like), Icelandic líkur (alike, like, similar), Norwegian lik (like, alike) Swedish lik (like, similar)

Adverb from Middle English like, lyke, liche, lyche, from Old English ġelīċe (likewise, also, as, in like manner, similarly) and Old Norse líka (also, likewise); both from Proto-Germanic *galīkê, from Proto-Germanic *galīkaz (same, like, similar).

Conjunction from Middle English like, lyke, lik, lyk, from the adverb Middle English like.

Preposition from Middle English like, lyke, liche, lyche, lijc, liih (similar to, like, equal to, comparable with), from Middle English like (adjective) and like (adverb).

Adjective[edit]

like (comparative more like, superlative most like)

  1. Similar.
    My partner and I have like minds.
    • 1843, Thomas Carlyle, Past and Present, book 2, ch. 3, Landlord Edmund
      [] and this is not a sky, it is a Soul and living Face! Nothing liker the Temple of the Highest, bright with some real effulgence of the Highest, is seen in this world.
    • 1922, Ben Travers, chapter 1, in A Cuckoo in the Nest[5]:
      She was like a Beardsley Salome, he had said. And indeed she had the narrow eyes and the high cheekbone of that creature, and as nearly the sinuosity as is compatible with human symmetry.
  2. (obsolete) Likely; probable.
    • (Can we date this quote by South and provide title, author’s full name, and other details?)
      But it is like the jolly world about us will scoff at the paradox of these practices.
    • (Can we date this quote by Clarendon and provide title, author’s full name, and other details?)
      Many were not easy to be governed, nor like to conform themselves to strict rules.
Hyponyms[edit]
Derived terms[edit]
Related terms[edit]
Translations[edit]

Adverb[edit]

like (comparative more like, superlative most like)

  1. (obsolete, colloquial) Likely.
  2. (archaic or rare) In a like or similar manner.
    • Bible, Psalms ciii. 13
      Like as a father pitieth his children, so the Lord pitieth them that fear him.


Noun[edit]

like (plural likes)

  1. (sometimes as the likes of) Someone similar to a given person, or something similar to a given object; a comparative; a type; a sort.
    There were bowls full of sweets, chocolates and the like.
    It was something the likes of which I had never seen before.
  2. (golf) The stroke that equalizes the number of strokes played by the opposing player or side.
    to play the like
Synonyms[edit]
Antonyms[edit]
Derived terms[edit]
Translations[edit]

Conjunction[edit]

like

  1. (colloquial) As, the way.
  2. As if; as though.
    It looks like you've finished the project.
    It seemed like you didn't care.
Usage notes[edit]
  • The American Heritage Dictionary opines that using like as a conjunction, instead of as, the way, as if, or as though, is informal; it has, however, been routine since the Middle English period.
Derived terms[edit]

Preposition[edit]

like

  1. Similar to, reminiscent of.
    • 1898, Winston Churchill, chapter 2, in The Celebrity:
      Sunning himself on the board steps, I saw for the first time Mr. Farquhar Fenelon Cooke. He was dressed out in broad gaiters and bright tweeds, like an English tourist, and his face might have belonged to Dagon, idol of the Philistines.
    • 1913, Joseph C. Lincoln, chapter 1, in Mr. Pratt's Patients:
      Pretty soon I struck into a sort of path […]. It twisted and turned, [] and opened out into a big clear space like a lawn. And, back of the lawn, was a big, old-fashioned house, with piazzas stretching in front of it, and all blazing with lights. 'Twas the house I'd seen the roof of from the beach.
    • 1918, W. B. Maxwell, chapter 10, in The Mirror and the Lamp:
      It was a joy to snatch some brief respite, and find himself in the rectory drawing–room. Listening here was as pleasant as talking; just to watch was pleasant. The young priests who lived here wore cassocks and birettas; their faces were fine and mild, yet really strong, like the rector's face; and in their intercourse with him and his wife they seemed to be brothers.
    • 1963, Margery Allingham, chapter 19, in The China Governess[6]:
      When Timothy and Julia hurried up the staircase to the bedroom floor, where a considerable commotion was taking place, Tim took Barry Leach with him. […]. The captive made no resistance and came not only quietly but in a series of eager little rushes like a timid dog on a choke chain.
    • 2013 June 7, David Simpson, “Fantasy of navigation”, in The Guardian Weekly, volume 188, number 26, page 36:
      Like most human activities, ballooning has sponsored heroes and hucksters and a good deal in between. For every dedicated scientist patiently recording atmospheric pressure and wind speed while shivering at high altitudes, there is a carnival barker with a bevy of pretty girls willing to dangle from a basket or parachute down to earth.
  2. Typical of
    It would be just like Achilles to be sulking in his tent.
  3. Approximating
    Popcorn costs something like $10 dollars at the movies.
  4. In the manner of, similarly to.
    He doesn't act like a president.
  5. Such as
    It's for websites like Wikipedia.
  6. As if there would be.
    It looks like a hot summer in Europe.
Synonyms[edit]
Antonyms[edit]
Derived terms[edit]
Translations[edit]

Particle[edit]

like

  1. (colloquial, Scotland, Tyneside, Teesside, Liverpudlian) A delayed filler.
    He was so angry, like.
  2. (colloquial) A mild intensifier.
    She was, like, sooooo happy.
    • 1972, Charles M. Schulz, Peanuts, December 1:
      [Sally Brown:] Christmas is getting all you can get while the getting is good.
      [Charlie Brown:] GIVING! The only real joy is GIVING!
      [Sally Brown, rolling her eyes:] Like, wow!
  3. (colloquial) indicating approximation or uncertainty
    There were, like, twenty of them.
    And then he, like, got all angry and left the room.
  4. (colloquial, slang) When preceded by any form of the verb to be, used to mean “to say” or “to think”; used to precede an approximate quotation or paraphrase.
    I was like, “Why did you do that?” and he's like, “I don't know.”
    • 2006, Lily Allen, Knock 'Em Out
      You're just doing your own thing and some one comes out the blue,
      They're like, "Alright"
      What ya saying, "Yeah can I take your digits?"
      And you're like, "no not in a million years, you're nasty please leave me alone."
Synonyms[edit]
Usage notes[edit]

The use as a quotative is informal. It is commonly used by young people, and commonly disliked by older generations, especially in repeated use. It may be combined with the use of the present tense as a narrative. Similar terms are to go and all, as in I go, “Why did you do that?” and he goes, “I don't know” and I was all, “Why did you do that?” and he was all, “I don't know.” These expressions can imply that the attributed remark which follows is representative rather than necessarily an exact quotation; however, in speech these structures do tend to require mimicking the original speaker's inflection in a way said would not.

Excessive use of "like" as a meaningless filler is widely criticised.

Translations[edit]

Interjection[edit]

like

  1. (Liverpudlian, Tyneside) Used to place emphasis upon a statement.
    Divint ye knaa, like?

Etymology 3[edit]

From like (adverb) and like (adjective).

Verb[edit]

like (third-person singular simple present likes, present participle liking, simple past and past participle liked)

  1. (chiefly dialectal, intransitive) To be likely.
    • 1837, Earl of Orford Walpole (Horace), Correspondence with George Montagu:
      He probably got his death, as he liked to have done two years ago, by viewing the troops for the expedition, from the wall of Kensington garden.
References[edit]
  • A Dictionary of North East Dialect, Bill Griffiths, 2005, Northumbria University Press, →ISBN
  • like at OneLook Dictionary Search

Anagrams[edit]


Danish[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Borrowed from English like.

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

like n (singular definite liket, plural indefinite likes)

  1. (Internet) like
    Den fik 30.000 likes i løbet af en halv time, hvilket er ret meget.
    It received 30,000 likes in the course of half an hour, which is quite a lot.

Verb[edit]

like (imperative like, infinitive at like, present tense liker, past tense likede, perfect tense har liket)

  1. (Internet) like
    Han havde liket sin egen kommentar.
    He had liked his own comment.

French[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

Verb[edit]

like

  1. first-person singular present indicative of liker
  2. third-person singular present indicative of liker
  3. first-person singular present subjunctive of liker
  4. third-person singular present subjunctive of liker
  5. second-person singular imperative of liker

German[edit]

Verb[edit]

like

  1. First-person singular present of liken.
  2. First-person singular subjunctive I of liken.
  3. Third-person singular subjunctive I of liken.
  4. Imperative singular of liken.

Hawaiian[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Proto-Eastern Polynesian *lite. Compare Maori rite.

Pronunciation[edit]

Verb[edit]

like

  1. (stative) like, alike, similar

Derived terms[edit]

References[edit]

  • “like” in the Hawaiian Dictionary, Revised and Enlarged Edition, University of Hawaii Press, 1986

Norwegian Bokmål[edit]

Etymology 1[edit]

From Old Norse líka

Verb[edit]

like (imperative lik, present tense liker, simple past likte, past participle likt)

  1. to like

Etymology 2[edit]

Adjective[edit]

like

  1. definite singular of lik
  2. plural of lik

Etymology 3[edit]

Adverb[edit]

like

  1. as, equally
    Han er like lang som henne.
    He is as tall as she.
Derived terms[edit]

References[edit]


Norwegian Nynorsk[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

Etymology 1[edit]

From Old Norse líka

Alternative forms[edit]

Verb[edit]

like (imperative lik or like, present tense likar or liker, simple past lika or likte, past participle lika or likt)

  1. to like

Etymology 2[edit]

Adjective[edit]

like

  1. definite singular of lik
  2. plural of lik

Etymology 3[edit]

From Old Norse líka

Adverb[edit]

like

  1. as, equally
    Dei er like høge.
    They are equally tall. / They are as tall as each other.
  2. just, immediately
    Han kom fram like før det stengte.
    He got there just before it closed.

References[edit]


Scots[edit]

Verb[edit]

like (third-person singular present likes, present participle likin, past likit, past participle likit)

  1. To like.
  2. To be hesitant to do something.
    I dinna like.I'm not certain I would like to.
  3. To love somebody or something.

Adverb[edit]

like (not comparable)

  1. like

Interjection[edit]

like

  1. (South Scots) Used to place emphasis upon a statement.
    Oo jist saw it the now, like.We like, just now saw it.

Spanish[edit]

Noun[edit]

like m (plural likes)

  1. (Internet slang) like

Swedish[edit]

Adjective[edit]

like

  1. absolute definite natural masculine form of lik.

Noun[edit]

like c

  1. match (someone similarly skillful)
    Han hade mött sin like
    He had met his match

Declension[edit]

Declension of like 
Singular Plural
Indefinite Definite Indefinite Definite
Nominative like liken likar likarna
Genitive likes likens likars likarnas