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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
  • All pods use effective, cooperative hunting techniques that some liken to the behavior of wolf packs.
  • Researchers liken that step to rebooting a computer, because a genome is akin an operating system that makes a cell function.
  • They may feel the brunt of their position, but one may liken them to the proverbial mouse in the maze: they lack the aerial view.
  • Ostriches are descendants of dinosaurs, and the researchers liken ostrich movements to those of bipedal dinosaurs.
  • Free news and information articles are usually poorly written and liken in content.
  • The authors liken it to a conductor who synchronises and co-ordinates various parts into a united whole.
  • Experts liken stem cells to the seeds from which many body tissues grow.
  • Dee would not be the first to liken today's insider traders to yesterday's wildcatters and railroad barons.
  • They liken bond ratings to pantyhose sizes and the buying of stocks in downturns to buying tuna fish on sale.
  • Managers who beg for patience often liken baseball seasons to a marathon.
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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