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[sim-uh-ler] /ˈsɪm ə lər/
having a likeness or resemblance, especially in a general way:
two similar houses.
Geometry. (of figures) having the same shape; having corresponding sides proportional and corresponding angles equal:
similar triangles.
Mathematics. (of two square matrices) related by means of a similarity transformation.
Origin of similar
1605-15; earlier similary < French similaire or Medieval Latin similāris, equivalent to Latin simil(is) like, similar (akin to simul together; cf. simplex) + -āris -ar1
Related forms
similarly, adverb
nonsimilar, adjective
nonsimilarly, adverb
quasi-similar, adjective
quasi-similarly, adverb
self-similar, adjective
unsimilar, adjective
unsimilarly, adverb
1. like, resembling. See same.
1. different. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for similarly
  • similarly, the vegetable pasta dish came from two households' gardens and kitchens.
  • Our next objective is to ascertain if it acts similarly in humans.
  • similarly, if a group of nerve cells be destroyed, the fibers arising from them undergo degeneration.
  • Similar clauses introduced by where and when are similarly punctuated.
  • similarly, when snow melts in the mountains, it turns liquid and flows down the river into the lake.
  • First, the cone-shaped rock formations complement the similarly shaped balloons.
  • The team drew on records from satellites that used radar altimeters, which work similarly to bats' echolocation, or natural radar.
  • similarly, the sun's overarching field seems to be produced by internal motion of plasma.
  • similarly, ballet training was a movement grammar to be used onstage in different ways.
  • similarly, a key part of the stimulus was the billions of dollars that went to state governments.
British Dictionary definitions for similarly


showing resemblance in qualities, characteristics, or appearance; alike but not identical
(geometry) (of two or more figures) having corresponding angles equal and all corresponding sides in the same ratio Compare congruent (sense 2)
(maths) (of two classes) equinumerous
Derived Forms
similarity (ˌsɪmɪˈlærɪtɪ) noun
similarly, adverb
Usage note
As should not be used after similar: Wilson held a similar position to Jones (not a similar position as Jones); the system is similar to the one in France (not similar as the one in France)
Word Origin
C17: from Old French similaire, from Latin similis
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 similarly



"having characteristics in common," 1610s (earlier similary, 1560s), from French similaire, from a Medieval Latin extended form of Latin similis "like, resembling," from Old Latin semol "together," from PIE root *sem- (1) "one, as one, together with" (see same). The noun meaning "that which is similar" is from 1650s. Related: Similarly.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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