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.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
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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