like

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

English

Alternative forms

Pronunciation

Etymology 1

Verb from Middle English liken, from Old English līcian (to like, to please), from Proto-West Germanic *līkēn, from Proto-Germanic *līkāną, 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

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:
      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.
    • 1897 December (indicated as 1898), Winston Churchill, chapter I, in The Celebrity: An Episode, New York, N.Y.: The Macmillan Company; London: Macmillan & Co., Ltd., OCLC 222716698, page 2:
      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):
      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, 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: (British) fancy, enjoy, love
    Antonyms: dislike, hate, mislike
    I really like Sandra but don't know how to tell her.
    • 2016 December 19, Moe! Ninja Girls, Japan: NTT Solmare, iOS, Android, scene: Season 1, Enju Ending:
      ― Enju: “Apparently when you like someone, you start talking like them.”
  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.
    Antonyms: unlike, dislike
    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.
    I don't like to disturb him when he's working.
  11. (computing, chiefly in the negative) To accept as an input.
    We were frustrated that our seeming innocent choice for a team name was rejected by the censor. Apparently somewhere in the name is a word that the censor doesn’t like.
Usage notes
  • 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
Derived terms
Descendants
  • Jersey Dutch: lāike
Related terms
Translations

Noun

like (plural likes)

  1. (chiefly 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:
      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

References

Etymology 2

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

like (comparative more like, superlative most like)

  1. Similar.
    My partner and I have like minds.
    The two cats were as like as though they had come from the same litter.
    • 1902, John Buchan, The Outgoing of the Tide
      It will seem strange that in all this time the Presbytery was idle, and no effort was made to rid the place of so fell an influence. But there was a reason, and the reason, as in most like cases, was a lassie.
    • 1843 April, Thomas Carlyle, “ch. 3, Landlord Edmund”, in Past and Present, American edition, Boston, Mass.: Charles C Little and James Brown, published 1843, OCLC 191225086, book II (The Ancient Monk):
      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.
    • 1886 October – 1887 January, H Rider Haggard, She: A History of Adventure, London: Longmans, Green, and Co., published 1887, OCLC 1167497017:
      I opened the man's linen robe, and there over his heart was a dagger-wound, and beneath the woman's fair breast was a like cruel stab, through which her life had ebbed away.
  2. (Scotland, Southern US) Likely; probable.
  3. (Scotland, Southern US, usually with to) inclined (to), prone (to).
    He seems like to run from any semblance of hard work.
Derived terms
Related terms
Translations
The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.

Adverb

like (comparative more like, superlative most like)

  1. (obsolete, colloquial) Likely.
  2. (archaic or rare) In a like or similar manner.

Noun

like (countable and uncountable, 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.
    • 1926, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, The Land of Mist:
      "Such things do happen and centre round the wicked medium. You can get down into a region which is akin to the popular idea of witchcraft, it is dishonest to deny it." "Like attracts like," explained Mrs. Mailey
    • 1935, Winston Churchill on T.E. Lawrence
      We shall never see his like again.
    • 1982, Douglas Adams, Life, the Universe and Everything, page 93:
      In fact it would be fair to say that he had reached a level of annoyance the like of which had never been seen in the Universe.
    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
Antonyms
Derived terms
Translations

Conjunction

like

  1. (colloquial) As, the way.
    • 1966, Advertising slogan for Winston cigarettes
      Winston tastes good like a cigarette should
    • 1978, "Do Unto Others" by Bob Dylan
      But if you do right to me, baby
      I’ll do right to you, too
      Ya got to do unto others
      Like you’d have them, like you’d have them, do unto you
    • 1981, William Irwin Thompson, The Time Falling Bodies Take to Light: Mythology, Sexuality and the Origins of Culture, London: Rider/Hutchinson & Co., page 160:
      Like the Mesolithic age of 10,000-8000 B.C., the period 6000-4000 B.C. seems to be one of the fall of fortresses and the rise of pastoral nomadism.
  2. As if; as though.
    It looks like you've finished the project.
    It seemed like you didn't care.
Usage notes
  • 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. AHD4 says "Writers since Chaucer's time have used like as a conjunction, but 19th-century and 20th-century critics have been so vehement in their condemnations of this usage that a writer who uses the construction in formal style risks being accused of illiteracy or worse", and recommends using as in formal speech and writing. OED does not tag it as colloquial or nonstandard, but notes, "Used as conj: = 'like as', as. Now generally condemned as vulgar or slovenly, though examples may be found in many recent writers of standing."
Derived terms

Preposition

like

  1. Similar to, reminiscent of
    • 1897 December (indicated as 1898), Winston Churchill, chapter II, in The Celebrity: An Episode, New York, N.Y.: The Macmillan Company; London: Macmillan & Co., Ltd., OCLC 222716698:
      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 X, in The Mirror and the Lamp, Indianapolis, Ind.: The Bobbs-Merrill Company, OCLC 4293071:
      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.
    • 1922, Ben Travers, chapter 1, in A Cuckoo in the Nest:
      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.
    • 1963, Margery Allingham, chapter 19, in The China Governess:
      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.
  7. Used to ask for a description or opinion of someone or something
    I hear she has a new boyfriend. What's he like?
    What's the weather like in Ürümqi today?
Synonyms
Antonyms
Derived terms
Translations

Particle

like

  1. Likely.
    • (Can we date this quote?) Mark Twain:
      “You'll try it, some day, like enough; but you'll get tired of the change pretty soon.” “Why?” “Well, I'll tell you. Now you've always been a sailor; did you ever try some other business?”
    • 1936, New Mexico: The Sunshine State's Recreational and Highway Magazine:
      If I can't spare the time—well, like as not we go anyhow. And where else can you ride all day with your saddle and neck full of snow brushed from the trees and still not freeze half to death?
  2. (colloquial, Scotland, Ireland, Tyneside, Teesside, Liverpudlian) A delayed filler.
    He was so angry, like.
  3. (colloquial) Indicating approximation or uncertainty.
    There were, like, twenty of them.
    She was, like, sooooo happy.
    • 1972, Charles M. Schulz, Peanuts, December 1:
      Christmas is getting all you can get while the getting is good.
      GIVING! The only real joy is GIVING!
      Like, wow!
  4. (colloquial, slang) Used to precede an approximate quotation or paraphrase or an expression of something that happened.
    I was like, “Why did you do that?” and he's like, “I don't know.”
    And then he, like, got all angry and left the room.
    A customer walked in like, "I demand to see the manager!"
    • 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."
    • 2014, Geoffrey Riddell, The Fly-ahead Boy, Lulu.com, →ISBN, page 108:
      'It made this sky ripping noise, and then went like “bang”, real hard into the ground. A long way away but.'
Synonyms
Usage notes

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. (For its use preceded by a form of be, see be like.) 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

Etymology 3

From like (adverb) and like (adjective).

Verb

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
  • A Dictionary of North East Dialect, Bill Griffiths, 2005, Northumbria University Press, →ISBN
  • like at OneLook Dictionary Search

Further reading

Anagrams


Chinese

Etymology

Borrowed from English like.

Pronunciation


Noun

like

  1. (Hong Kong Cantonese, figuratively) appreciation; approval

Verb

like

  1. (Hong Kong Cantonese, Internet slang) to like
  2. (Cantonese) Alternative form of likey.

See also


Danish

Etymology

Borrowed from English like.

Pronunciation

Noun

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

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

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

French

Pronunciation

Verb

like

  1. inflection of liker:
    1. first/third-person singular present indicative/subjunctive
    2. second-person singular imperative

German

Verb

like

  1. inflection of liken:
    1. first-person singular present
    2. first/third-person singular subjunctive I
    3. singular imperative

Hawaiian

Etymology

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

Pronunciation

Verb

like

  1. (stative) like, alike, similar

Derived terms

References

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

Norwegian Bokmål

Etymology 1

From Old Norse líka, from Proto-Germanic *līkāną.

Verb

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

  1. to like

Etymology 2

See the etymology of the corresponding lemma form.

Adjective

like

  1. definite singular of lik
  2. plural of lik

Etymology 3

(This etymology is missing or incomplete. Please add to it, or discuss it at the Etymology scriptorium.)

Adverb

like

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

References


Norwegian Nynorsk

Pronunciation

Etymology 1

From Old Norse líka.

Alternative forms

Verb

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

Adjective

like

  1. definite singular of lik
  2. plural of lik

Etymology 3

From Old Norse líka.

Adverb

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


Scots

Etymology

From Old English līcian (to be pleasing).

Verb

like (third-person singular simple present likes, present participle likin, simple 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

like (not comparable)

  1. like

Interjection

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

Etymology

Unadapted borrowing from English like.

Pronunciation

Noun

like m (plural likes)

  1. (Internet slang) like

Usage notes

According to Royal Spanish Academy (RAE) prescriptions, unadapted foreign words should be written in italics in a text printed in roman type, and vice versa, and in quotation marks in a manuscript text or when italics are not available. In practice, this RAE prescription is not always followed.


Swedish

Adjective

like

  1. absolute definite natural masculine singular of lik.

Noun

like c

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

Declension

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