Definition of similar in US English:



  • 1Resembling without being identical.

    ‘a soft cheese similar to Brie’
    ‘northern India and similar areas’
    • ‘The situation in Denmark is very similar to that in Spain, but again, only time will reveal all.’
    • ‘A beautifully decorated lyre from Ur depicts similar figures in lapis lazuli and shell.’
    • ‘You will note that this list is very similar to the likely 18 centres that Turkey would need to win.’
    • ‘Other countries in East and Central Africa had similar policies to different degrees.’
    • ‘This wide sweeping course is one of the newest on the circuit, and is very similar to Las Vegas and Michigan.’
    • ‘After all a bully is somewhat similar to a stalker, they follow you, taunt you, frighten you.’
    • ‘The breadth of this vision is clearest in a sequence very similar to the suicide scene.’
    • ‘I think we can expect to hear words very similar to those when the defence sums up its case.’
    • ‘In a similar way, the size and shape of the bowl will enhance or detract from its bouquet.’
    • ‘The aim was to sample the planet surface for signs of lifeforms similar to those that could survive on earth.’
    • ‘In a recent study of this mutant, results very similar to those of Smith et al. were obtained.’
    • ‘Even sinkholes similar to the one last summer have been around since the 18th Century.’
    • ‘And the government will also aim to save a similar figure over the previous two years.’
    • ‘Obviously, this was a sterner test but the essence of golf required was very similar to those courses.’
    • ‘For example, both wings of a bird must be very similar in size and shape if it is to be able to fly satisfactorily.’
    • ‘Spawning takes place between October and December, and is very similar to that of the brown trout.’
    • ‘They were thrilled to find rough red tiles similar to those used by the Romans.’
    • ‘His language was very similar to the language of Slavs living around the town.’
    • ‘This is because when it's canned, these fats are reduced to levels similar to white fish.’
    • ‘You can also get more information by comparing figures for similar companies.’
    alike, the same, much the same, indistinguishable, close, near, almost identical, homogeneous, interchangeable
    comparable, like, corresponding, homogeneous, parallel, equivalent, analogous, matching
    like, much the same as, comparable to, close to, near, near to, in the nature of
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1Geometry (of geometric figures) having the same shape, with the same angles and proportions, though not necessarily of the same size.
      • ‘When the ratio is 1 then the similar triangles become congruent triangles (same shape and size).’


  • 1archaic A person or thing similar to another.

    • ‘In other words, if a normal person would say two images are essentially the same, they are "similars."’
  • 2usually similarsA substance that produces effects resembling the symptoms of particular diseases (the basis of homeopathic treatment)

    ‘the principle of treatment by similars’
    • ‘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 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.’


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