Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

  

English definition of “like”

like

preposition (TYPICAL OF)    /laɪk/
B2 typical or characteristic of: That's just like Maisie to turn up half an hour late to her own party ! It's not like you to be so quiet - are you all right , my love ?Typifying, illustrating and exemplifyingMeaning and significance Grammar:LikeLike has a number of meanings and uses.Grammar:Like as a verb meaning ‘enjoy’We use like to talk about things or people which we enjoy or feel positive about:Grammar:Would like in offers and requestsWe use would like or ’d like to offer something to someone in a polite way or to ask them to do something politely (requests), or politely to say what we want. We use the to-infinitive form of verbs that follow:Grammar:Like as a preposition meaning ‘similar to’Like means ‘similar to’. We often use it with verbs of the senses such as look, sound, feel, taste, seem:Grammar:Like as a conjunctionIn informal contexts, we can use like as a conjunction instead of as. Traditional grammar books consider this use of like incorrect:Grammar:Like as a suffixWe can use like as a suffix at the end of a noun to mean ‘similar to’:Grammar:Like in spoken EnglishIn informal speaking, you will hear like used very commonly. It has a number of functions. It is important not to use these forms in formal writing such as academic essays.Grammar:Be like or what is … like?We can use be like to ask for a description of someone or something (e.g. their appearance, their character, their behaviour):Grammar:Be like or look like?We use be like to talk about someone’s character or personality. We use look like to talk about someone’s appearance:
(Definition of like preposition (TYPICAL OF) from the Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
Focus on the pronunciation of like

Definitions of “like” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

amicable

relating to behaviour between people that is pleasant and friendly, often despite a difficult situation

Word of the Day

Blog

Read our blog about how the English language behaves.

Learn More

New Words

Find words and meanings that have just started to be used in English, and let us know what you think of them.

Learn More