the likes of


1 [lahyk]
adjective (Poetic) liker, likest.
of the same form, appearance, kind, character, amount, etc.: I cannot remember a like instance.
corresponding or agreeing in general or in some noticeable respect; similar; analogous: drawing, painting, and like arts.
bearing resemblance.
Dialect, likely or probable: 'Tis like that he's gone mad.
Dialect. about; almost ready, as to perform some action: The poor chap seemed like to run away.
in like manner with; similarly to; in the manner characteristic of: He works like a beaver.
resembling (someone or something): He is just like his father. Your necklace is just like mine.
characteristic of: It would be like him to forget our appointment.
as if there is promise of; indicative of: It looks like rain.
as if someone or something gives promise of being: She looks like a good prospect for the job.
disposed or inclined to (usually preceded by feel ): to feel like going to bed.
similar or comparable to: There is nothing like a cold drink of water when one is thirsty. What was he like?
(used correlatively to indicate similarity through relationship): like father, like son.
(used to establish an intensifying, often facetious, comparison): sleeping like a log.
as; such as: There are numerous hobbies you might enjoy, like photography or painting.
nearly; closely; approximately: The house is more like 40 than 20 years old.
Informal. likely or probably: Like enough he'll come with us. Like as not her leg is broken.
as it were; in a way; somehow: I did it like wrong.
to a degree; more or less: standing against the wall, looking very tough like.
in the same way as; just as; as: It happened like you might expect it would.
as if: He acted like he was afraid. The car runs like new.
Informal. (used especially after forms of be to introduce reported speech or thought): She's like, "I don't believe it," and I'm like, "No, it's true!"
a similar or comparable person or thing, or like persons or things; counterpart, match, or equal (usually preceded by a possessive adjective or the ): No one has seen his like in a long time. Like attracts like.
kind; sort; type; ilk (usually preceded by a possessive adjective): I despise moochers and their like.
the like, something of a similar nature: They grow oranges, lemons, and the like.
Informal. (used especially in speech, often nonvolitionally or habitually, to preface a sentence, to fill a pause, to express uncertainty, or to intensify or neutralize a following adjective): Like, why didn't you write to me? The music was, like, really great, you know?
like anything, Informal. very much; extremely; with great intensity: He wanted like anything to win.
like to, South Midland and Southern U.S. was on the verge of or came close to (doing something): The poor kid like to froze. Also, liked to.
something like, Informal. something approaching or approximating: It looked something like this.
the like / likes of, someone or something similar to; the equal of: I've never seen the like of it anywhere.

1150–1200; Middle English lic, lik < Old Norse līkr; replacing Old English gelīc, cognate with Dutch gelijk, German gleich, Old Norse glīkr, Gothic galeiks like, literally, of the same body or form. See y-, lich

liker, noun

Like1 as a conjunction meaning “as, in the same way as” (Many shoppers study the food ads like brokers study market reports) or “as if” (It looks like it will rain) has been used for nearly 500 years and by many distinguished literary and intellectual figures. Since the mid-19th century there have been objections, often vehement, to these uses. Nevertheless, such uses are almost universal today in all but the most formal speech and writing. In extremely careful speech and in much formal writing, as, as if, and as though are more commonly used than like: The commanding general accepted full responsibility for the incident, as any professional soldier would. Many of the Greenwich Village bohemians lived as if (or as though) there were no tomorrow.
The strong strictures against the use of like as a conjunction have resulted in the occasional hypercorrect use of as as a preposition where like is idiomatic: She looks as a sympathetic person.
Like meaning “as if” is also standard in informal speech and writing with a small number of adjectives: The crew worked like crazy (or like mad) to finish the job on time. See also as. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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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]

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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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases

the likes of

see likes of.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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Idioms & Phrases
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