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From Anglo-Norman resemblance, from Old French (compare French ressemblance).


  • IPA(key): /ɹəzˈɛmbləns/


resemblance ‎(plural resemblances)

  1. The quality or state of resembling; likeness; similitude; similarity.
    • 1997, Chris Horrocks, Introducing Foucault, page 67, The Renaissance Episteme (Totem Books, Icon Books; ISBN 1840460865)
      Words and things were united in their 'resemblance'. Renaissance man thought in terms of similitudes: the theatre of life, the mirror of nature. There were four ranges of resemblance.
      Aemulation was similitude within distance: the sky resembled a face because it had “eyes” — the sun and moon.
      Convenientia connected things near to one another, e.g. animal and plant, making a great “chain” of being.
      Analogy: a wider range based less on likeness than on similar relations.
      Sympathy likened anything to anything else in universal attraction, e.g. the fate of men to the course of the planets.
      A “signature” was placed on all things by God to indicate their affinities — but it was hidden, hence the search for arcane knowledge. Knowing was guessing and interpreting, not observing or demonstrating.
  2. That which resembles, or is similar; a representation; a likeness.
  3. A comparison; a simile.
  4. Probability; verisimilitude.



Old French[edit]


resembler +‎ -ance.


resemblance f ‎(oblique plural resemblances, nominative singular resemblance, nominative plural resemblances)

  1. similarity (taken as a whole, the qualities than make two or more things similar)