Definition of similar in English:



  • 1Having a resemblance in appearance, character, or quantity, without being identical.

    ‘a soft cheese similar to Brie’
    ‘northern India and similar areas’
    • ‘For example, both wings of a bird must be very similar in size and shape if it is to be able to fly satisfactorily.’
    • ‘The breadth of this vision is clearest in a sequence very similar to the suicide scene.’
    • ‘Other countries in East and Central Africa had similar policies to different degrees.’
    • ‘They were thrilled to find rough red tiles similar to those used by the Romans.’
    • ‘You will note that this list is very similar to the likely 18 centres that Turkey would need to win.’
    • ‘I think we can expect to hear words very similar to those when the defence sums up its case.’
    • ‘And the government will also aim to save a similar figure over the previous two years.’
    • ‘A beautifully decorated lyre from Ur depicts similar figures in lapis lazuli and shell.’
    • ‘In a similar way, the size and shape of the bowl will enhance or detract from its bouquet.’
    • ‘Even sinkholes similar to the one last summer have been around since the 18th Century.’
    • ‘Obviously, this was a sterner test but the essence of golf required was very similar to those courses.’
    • ‘The situation in Denmark is very similar to that in Spain, but again, only time will reveal all.’
    • ‘His language was very similar to the language of Slavs living around the town.’
    • ‘The aim was to sample the planet surface for signs of lifeforms similar to those that could survive on earth.’
    • ‘You can also get more information by comparing figures for similar companies.’
    • ‘This wide sweeping course is one of the newest on the circuit, and is very similar to Las Vegas and Michigan.’
    • ‘Spawning takes place between October and December, and is very similar to that of the brown trout.’
    • ‘After all a bully is somewhat similar to a stalker, they follow you, taunt you, frighten you.’
    • ‘This is because when it's canned, these fats are reduced to levels similar to white fish.’
    • ‘In a recent study of this mutant, results very similar to those of Smith et al. were obtained.’
    comparable, like, corresponding, homogeneous, parallel, equivalent, analogous, matching
    like, much the same as, comparable to, close to, in the nature of
    alike, indistinguishable, close, near, almost identical, homogeneous, interchangeable
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1Geometry (of geometrical figures) having the same shape, with the same angles and proportions, though of different sizes.
      • ‘When the ratio is 1 then the similar triangles become congruent triangles (same shape and size).’


  • 1archaic A person or thing similar to another.

    ‘he was one of those whose similar you never meet’
    • ‘In other words, if a normal person would say two images are essentially the same, they are "similars."’
  • 2A substance that produces effects resembling the symptoms of particular diseases (the basis of homeopathic treatment)

    ‘the principle of treatment by similars’
    • ‘The law of similars describes how a homeopathic drug is chosen based on its ability, in gross crude form, to produce the symptoms similar to that of a specific disease.’
    • ‘Yet despite having demonstrated that the law of similars has not generally been applied to the use of mild herbal substances, one question still remains.’
    • ‘Different from herbal remedies, Oscillococcinum is a homeopathic preparation created according to the ‘law of similars,’ which basically states that like will cure like.’


The standard construction for similar is with to, as in I've had problems similar to yours. However, in British English, the construction similar as is sometimes used instead, as in I've had similar problems as yourself. This is not accepted as correct in standard English


Late 16th century (also as a term in anatomy meaning ‘homogeneous’): from French similaire or medieval Latin similaris, from Latin similis like.