preference, inclination, or favor: to show a liking for privacy.
pleasure or taste: much to his liking.
the state or feeling of a person who likes.

before 900; Middle English; Old English līcung. See like2, -ing1

overliking, noun
self-liking, adjective, noun
underliking, noun

1. leaning, propensity, predilection, partiality, fondness, affection.

1. antipathy. Unabridged


2 [lahyk]
verb (used with object), liked, liking.
to take pleasure in; find agreeable or congenial: We all liked the concert.
to regard with favor; have a kindly or friendly feeling for (a person, group, etc.); find attractive: His parents like me and I like them.
to wish or prefer: You can do exactly as you like while you are a guest here.
verb (used without object), liked, liking.
to feel inclined; wish: We'll have lunch whenever you like.
Archaic. to suit the tastes or wishes; please.
Usually, likes. the things a person likes: a long list of likes and dislikes.
would like. would1 ( def 10 ).

before 900; Middle English liken, Old English līcian; cognate with Dutch lijken, Old Norse līka; see like1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
like1 (laɪk)
1.  (prenominal) similar; resembling
2.  similar to; similarly to; in the manner of: acting like a maniac; he's so like his father
3.  used correlatively to express similarity in certain proverbs: like mother, like daughter
4.  such as: there are lots of ways you might amuse yourself — like taking a long walk, for instance
5.  a dialect word for likely
6.  not standard as it were: often used as a parenthetic filler: there was this policeman just staring at us, like
7.  informal be like … used to introduce direct speech or nonverbal communication: I was like, ‘You’re kidding!’
8.  not standard as though; as if: you look like you've just seen a ghost
9.  in the same way as; in the same way that: she doesn't dance like you do
10.  the equal or counterpart of a person or thing, esp one respected or prized: compare like with like; her like will never be seen again
11.  the like similar things: dogs, foxes, and the like
12.  the likes of, the like of people or things similar to (someone or something specified): we don't want the likes of you around here
usage  The use of like to mean such as was formerly thought to be undesirable in formal writing, but has now become acceptable. It was also thought that as rather than like should be used to mean in the same way that, but now both as and like are acceptable: they hunt and catch fish as/like their ancestors used to. The use of look like and seem like before a clause, although very common, is thought by many people to be incorrect or non-standard: it looks as though he won't come (not it looks like he won't come)

like2 (laɪk)
1.  (tr) to find (something) enjoyable or agreeable or find it enjoyable or agreeable (to do something): he likes boxing; he likes to hear music
2.  (tr) to be fond of
3.  (tr) to prefer or wish (to do something): we would like you to go
4.  (tr) to feel towards; consider; regard: how did she like it?
5.  (intr) to feel disposed or inclined; choose; wish
6.  archaic (tr) to please; agree with: it likes me not to go
7.  (usually plural) a favourable feeling, desire, preference, etc (esp in the phrase likes and dislikes)
[Old English līcian; related to Old Norse līka, Dutch lijken]

liking (ˈlaɪkɪŋ)
1.  the feeling of a person who likes; fondness
2.  a preference, inclination, or pleasure

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

"having the same characteristics or qualities" (as another), M.E. shortening of O.E. gelic "like, similar," from P.Gmc. *galikaz "having the same form," lit. "with a corresponding body" (cf. O.S. gilik, O.N. glikr, Du. gelijk, Ger. gleich, Goth. galeiks "equally, like"), a compound of *ga- "with, together"
+ *likan "body" (cf. O.E. lic "body," Ger. Leiche "corpse," Dan. lig, Swed. lik, Du. lijk "body, corpse"). Analogous, etymologically, to L. conform. The modern form (rather than *lich) may be from a northern descendant of the O.E. word's O.N. cognate, likr. Formerly with comp. liker and superl. likest (still in use 17c.). The prep. (c.1200) and the adv. (c.1300) are both from the adjective. As a conjunction, first attested c.1530. Plural likes (n.) "predilections, preferences" is from 1851; earlier used in sing. in this sense (1425). The word has been used as a postponed filler ("going really fast, like") from 1778; as a presumed emphatic ("going, like, really fast") from 1950, originally in counterculture slang and bop talk. Phrase more like it "closer to what is desired" is from 1888.

O.E. lician "to please," from P.Gmc. *likojanan (cf. O.N. lika, O.Fris. likia, O.H.G. lihhen, Goth. leikan "to please"), from *liko- "body," originally "appearance, form." The basic meaning seems to be "to be like" (see like (adj.)), thus, "to be suitable." Like (and dislike)
originally flowed the other way: It likes me, where we would say I like it. The modern version began to appear late 14c.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
The charm here lies in the toppings, which diners can customize to their liking.
Have partygoers ladle soup into mugs or small bowls, and offer condiments so
  they can tailor each soup to their liking.
We suggest you make a small batch first and adjust the recipe to your liking.
When the flower is aligned to your liking, press it firmly to secure it and
  remove any wrinkles or air pockets.
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