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[lahy-kuh n] /ˈlaɪ kən/
verb (used with object)
to represent as similar or like; compare:
to liken someone to a weasel.
Origin of liken
1275-1325; Middle English liknen. See like1, -en1
Related forms
unlikened, adjective
Can be confused
lichen, liken. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for likened
  • In some ways the subdural space may be likened to a serous cavity.
  • We have likened the dream to the night watchman or sleep-defender who wishes to protect our sleep from being disturbed.
  • For there can scarcely be one that to her may be likened in bearing.
  • Hurricanes have been likened to machines that convert the warmth of tropical oceans into wind and waves.
  • Some reports have likened the operation to a human zoo.
  • Researchers likened the resonant effects to those of organ pipes.
  • Crone likened the sound to that made by spraying a garden hose against the wall of a house.
  • Scientists have likened weaver ant communication to a type of language with primitive syntax.
  • The procedure has been likened to being bitten by five or six small dogs.
  • The weathered chunks exude a sweet, earthy aroma likened to tobacco, pine or mulch.
British Dictionary definitions for likened


(transitive) to see or represent as the same or similar; compare
Word Origin
C14: from like1 (adj)
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for likened



late 13c., "to represent as like," from like (adj.) + -en (1). Related: Likened; likening.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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