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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 liken
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Though she did not, of course, carry the simile so far as to liken Johnny Jewel to the Grandmother.

    Skyrider B. M. Bower
  • "You do well to liken yourself to the melancholy Jaques," she replied.

    Loss and Gain John Henry Newman
  • It is an insult to that strong narcotic to liken any other repose to that he gives.

    Red as a Rose is She Rhoda Broughton
  • There are descriptions of the creeper's music which liken it to a wren's.

    Birds in the Bush Bradford Torrey
  • For convenience as an image, the theory may liken man to a spider in its web, watching for chance prey.

  • It's no that difficult to busk the hooks; maybe you would be liken' to try.

    Morag Janet Milne Rae
  • However, at the time whereof I write I doubt whether it had ever occurred to anyone to liken him to an ant.

    Old Judge Priest Irvin S. Cobb
British Dictionary definitions for liken


(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 liken

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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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