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like +‎ -ness; from Old English licnes, a shortening of gelicness. The verb is derived from the noun.


likeness (plural likenesses)

  1. The state or quality of being like or alike; similitude; resemblance; similarity.
  2. Appearance or form; guise.
    An enemy in the likeness of a friend.
    • Genesis, I, 26
      And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.
  3. That which closely resembles; a portrait.
    How he looked, the likenesses of him which still remain enable us to imagine.



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likeness (third-person singular simple present likenesses, present participle likenessing, simple past and past participle likenessed)

  1. (archaic, transitive) To depict.
    • 1857, April 25, Alfred Lord Tennyson, letter to Reginald Southey, in Cecil Y. Lang and Edgar F. Shannon Jr. (editors), The Letters of Alfred Lord Tennyson, Volume II: 1851-1870, Belknap Press (1987), ISBN 0-674-52583-3, page 171:
      I have this morning received the photographs of my two boys. The eldest is very well likenessed: the other, perhaps, not so well.
    • 1868, November, advertisement, in Arthur's Home Magazine, Volume XXXII, Number 21, after page 320:
      Every member of the family [of General Grant] is as faithfully likenessed as the photographs, which were given to the artist from the hands of the General himself, have power to express.