Definition of like preposition from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//laɪk//
    ; NAmE NAmE//laɪk//
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  1. 1  similar to somebody/something She's wearing a dress like mine. He's very like his father. She looks nothing like (= not at all like) her mother. That sounds like (= I think I can hear) him coming now.
  2. 2  used to ask somebody’s opinion of somebody/something What's it like studying in Spain? This new girlfriend of his—what's she like?
  3. 3  used to show what is usual or typical for somebody It's just like her to tell everyone about it.
  4. 4  in the same way as somebody/something Students were angry at being treated like children. He ran like the wind (= very fast). You do it like this. I, like everyone else, had read these stories in the press. Don't look at me like that. (informal) The candles are arranged like so (= in this way). Language BanksimilarlyMaking comparisons This chart provides a comparison of the ways that teenage boys and girls in the UK spend their free time. In many cases, the results for boys and girls are virtually the same/identical. In many cases, the results for boys are virtually the same as/identical to the results for girls. Both boys and girls spend the bulk of their free time with friends. Most of the boys do more than two hours of sport a week, as do many of the girls. Like many of the girls, most of the boys spend a large part of their free time using the Internet. The girls particularly enjoy using social networking websites. Similarly, nearly all the boys said they spent at least two to three hours a week on these sites.
  5. 5  for example anti-utopian novels like ‘Animal Farm’ and ‘1984’ Which Word?as / likeYou can use both as and like to say that things are similar. Like is a preposition and is used before nouns and pronouns:He has blue eyes like me. As is a conjunction and an adverb and is used before a clause, another adverb or a clause beginning with a preposition:She enjoys all kinds of music, as I do. Repeat these five steps, as in the last exercise. In informal English like is frequently used as a conjunction or an adverb instead of as:Nobody understands him like I do. I don’t want to upset him again like before. It is also used instead of as if:It looks like we’re going to be late. These uses of like are common but are not considered correct in formal written English.You will find more help on the use of as and like in the entries for particular verbs, such as act, behave, etc.
  6. Word Originpreposition , Middle English: from Old Norse líkr; related to alike.Extra examples Don’t look at me like that. He ran like the wind. He’s very like his father. I, like everyone else, have read these stories in the press. It tastes rather like chicken. She looks nothing like her mother. She’s wearing a dress like mine. Stop acting like a spoilt child. That sounds like him coming now. The dark wood shone like glass. You’ll get a chance to meet people of like mind.Idioms used to give a number or an amount that is more accurate than one previously mentioned He believes the figure should be more like $10 million.
      more like (it)(informal)
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    1. 1better; more acceptable This is more like it! Real food—not that canned muck.
    2. 2used to give what you think is a better description of something Just talking? Arguing more like it.
    (British English, informal) used to say that somebody has done something annoying, silly, etc. Oh, what am I like? I just completely forgot it.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: like