American English

Definition of like preposition from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



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  1. 1similar to someone or something She's wearing a dress like mine. He's very much 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. 2used to ask someone's opinion of someone or something What's it like studying in Spain? This new girlfriend of his—what's she like?
  3. 3used to show what is usual or typical for someone It's just like her to tell everyone about it.
  4. 4in the same way as someone or 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 U.S. 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 play more than two hours of sports 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. 5for example antiutopian novels like “Animal Farm” and “1984” Which Word?as / like You 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 phrase beginning with a preposition:She enjoys all kinds of music, as do I. As always, he said little. In spoken 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. You will find more help on the use of as and like in the entries for particular verbs, such as act, behave, etc.
  6. Idioms
    more like…
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    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 junk.
    2. 2used to give what you think is a better description of something Just talking? Arguing is more like it.
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: like