English edit

Pronunciation edit

  • IPA(key): /ʌnˈlaɪk/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -aɪk

Etymology 1 edit

From Middle English unlic, unlich, from Old English unlīċ, unġelīċ (unlike, different, dissimilar, diverse), from Proto-Germanic *ungalīkaz. By surface analysis, un- +‎ like. Cognate with Dutch ongelijk, German ungleich, Old Norse úlíkr (see there for North Germanic descendants).

Adjective edit

unlike (comparative more unlike, superlative most unlike)

  1. Not like; dissimilar (to); having no resemblance.
    The brothers are quite unlike each other.
    • 1927, G. K. Chesterton, What I saw in America, page 45:
      It may be conjectured with some confidence that it is very unlike what is called the Wild and sometimes the Woolly West, which I did not see.
  2. Unequal.
    They contributed in unlike amounts.
    • 1906, Railway master mechanic, volume 30, page 111:
      The earth is unlike the wire in size, resistance, and carrying capacity. Hence, telephone service calk for two wires of equal size, resistance, and carrying capacity.
    • 1909, John Spargo, Socialism: a summary and interpretation of socialist principles, page 241:
      Commodities utterly unlike each other in all apparent physical properties, such as color, weight, size, shape, substance,
    • 1928, Emory Richard Johnson with Grover Gerhardt Huebner and George Lloyd Wilson, Principles of transportation:
      Reduction in time makes possible more frequent steamship services, more rapid delivery and lower operating costs. The actual economy effected is different for vessels of unlike speed and types.
    • 2005, Stephen Frey, The Insider:
      At the Bank of Zurich, Savoy deposited the fifteen million francs into two separate accounts in unlike amounts — so that authorities wouldn't see the same amount coming out of Bank Suisse and being deposited minutes later at the Bank of Zurich.
    • 2006, George W. Hartmann with Albert T. Poffenberger, Gestalt Psychology: A Survey of Facts and Principles, page 86:
      Thus two objects of unlike size but equal weights are judged to differ in weight, the smaller being the heavier (size-weight illusion).
  3. (archaic) Not likely; improbable; unlikely.
Synonyms edit
Translations edit

Preposition edit


  1. Differently from; not in a like or similar manner.
    • 1995 Fall, Marcia Guthridge, “Henry V, Part 2”, in Paris Review, volume 37, number 136, page 176:
      Hal kept pace beside her in his ambling, arm-swinging way. He walked unlike other men she knew, like someone who had never carried a briefcase.
    • 1999 December, Joe Oldham, “Design & Engineering Awards 2000”, in Popular Mechanics, volume 176, number 12, page 67:
      These drugs work unlike any medicine ever created.
    • 2005 February 23, “Four-Year Old Abstract Artist Discussed, Jesse James Profiled”, in CBS Sixty Minutes:
      She goes to preschool, plays with dolls, and she loves to draw and paint. But Marla paints unlike any other four-year-old in the world.
  2. In contrast with; as opposed to.
    • 1999, Philip Spencer with Glenn M. Zakaib[b], “Product liability aspects of the risks of technological change - a Canadian perspective.”, in Canada-United States Law Journal, volume 25, page 125:
      Canadians can not bring a "national" piece of litigation, unlike what can be done in the United States.
    • 2009 February 10, Nelson Pressley, “Signature Laps The Field With 39 Hayes Noms”, in Washington Post, page C01:
      Unlike the elbows-out jostling in New York, there will be no campaigning:
    • 2023 November 29, Peter Plisner, “The winds of change in Catesby Tunnel”, in RAIL, number 997, page 56:
      But unlike many other tunnels that lay idle and decaying, Catesby has now found a new use as an aerodynamic wind tunnel for the motor industry.
  3. Not typical of one's character or personality.
    Being late is unlike him.
Translations edit

Noun edit

unlike (plural unlikes)

  1. Something that is not like something else; something different.
    • 2012, J. Bogen, J. E. McGuire, How Things Are: Studies in Predication and the History of Philosophy and Science
      If the beings are many, then they must be likes and unlikes. But this is impossible, for unlikes cannot be likes, and likes cannot be unlikes.

Etymology 2 edit

From Middle English unliken, unlyken, equivalent to un- +‎ like.

Verb edit

unlike (third-person singular simple present unlikes, present participle unliking, simple past and past participle unliked)

  1. To dislike.
    • 1603, Francis Bacon, “Of the Interpretation of Nature”, in The Works of Francis Bacon, translation of original by Valerius Terminus, page 136:
      The incounters of the times have been nothing favourable and prosperous for the invention of knowledge, so as it is not only the daintiness of the seed to take, and the ill mixture and unliking of the ground to nourish or raise this plant, but the ill season also of the weather, by which it hath been checked and blasted.
    • 1862, The Scottish Congregational Magazine, page 247:
      We are not insensible of the fact that these principles ever will be unliked by the men of tho world
    • 2006, Steve Amick, The Lake, the River & the Other Lake, page 38:
      "He doesn't seem to be unliked by anyone, no." Scott's lawyerly impulse was to dismiss any and all advice or speculation made by this woman who used "unliked" rather than "disliked"
    • 2007, Marvin Kaye, The Fair Folk:
      Certainly nobody spoke to me, though plenty of them gave me an unliking look.
  2. (Internet) To withdraw support for a particular thing, especially on social networking websites.
    I unliked the post after I found out the author was racist.
    • 2009, Ben Zimmer, “On Language: The Age of Undoing”, in The New York Times Magazine, 2009 September 20, page MM8:
      Facebook, for instance, allows you to register approval for a posted message in a very concrete way, by clicking a thumbs-up like button. Toggling off the button results in unliking your previously liked item. Note that this is different from disliking something, since unliking simply returns you to a neutral state.
    • 2010 June 25, TheKorn, “Re: Pinball: RGP and/or Facebook”, in rec.games.pinball[1] (Usenet):
      My comment was more of a backhanded slap at Stern Pinball's Facebook "presence", specifically the garbage "cheap heat" posts. [] It's so inane (and now, so constant) that I wound up "unliking" stern pinball entirely.

Noun edit

unlike (plural unlikes)

  1. (Internet) The act of withdrawing one's like from a post on social media.
    • 2012, Jesse Cannon, Todd Thomas, Get More Fans, page 552:
      Getting an unlike for every 20 likes is common and not something you need to be losing sleep over.
    • 2014, Ekaterina Walter, Jessica Gioglio, The Power of Visual Storytelling, page 13:
      On Facebook, users can also hide anyone in their network, including companies, from their News Feed, which is worse than an unlike, as brands cannot measure how many people still like them but have hidden their status updates []

Anagrams edit