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From Anglo-Norman, Old French resembler, from re- + sembler (to seem), synchronically analyzable as re- +‎ semble.


  • IPA(key): /ɹɪˈzɛmb(ə)l/
  • Hyphenation: re‧sem‧ble


resemble (third-person singular simple present resembles, present participle resembling, simple past and past participle resembled)

  1. (transitive) To be like or similar to (something); to represent as similar.
    • Shakespeare
      We will resemble you in that.
    • 1963, Margery Allingham, “Foreword”, in The China Governess[1]:
      He turned back to the scene before him and the enormous new block of council dwellings. The design was some way after Corbusier but the block was built up on plinths and resembled an Atlantic liner swimming diagonally across the site.
    • 2005, Plato, Sophist. Translation by Lesley Brown. 230b.
      But what you've just described does resemble a person of that kind.
    The twins resemble each other.
  2. (transitive, now rare, archaic) To compare; to regard as similar, to liken.
    • 1590, Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Queene, III.x:
      And th'other all yclad in garments light, / Discolour'd like to womanish disguise, / He did resemble to his Ladie bright [...].
  3. (obsolete, transitive)  To counterfeit; to imitate.
    • Holland
      They can so well resemble man's speech.
  4. (obsolete, transitive)  To cause to imitate or be like; to make similar.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of H. Bushnell to this entry?)


Related termsEdit





  1. Formal second-person singular (usted) imperative form of resemblar.
  2. First-person singular (yo) present subjunctive form of resemblar.
  3. Formal second-person singular (usted) present subjunctive form of resemblar.
  4. Third-person singular (él, ella, also used with usted?) present subjunctive form of resemblar.