Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Similarity in some respects between things that are otherwise dissimilar.
  • n. A comparison based on such similarity. See Synonyms at likeness.
  • n. Biology Correspondence in function or position between organs of dissimilar evolutionary origin or structure.
  • n. A form of logical inference or an instance of it, based on the assumption that if two things are known to be alike in some respects, then they must be alike in other respects.
  • n. Linguistics The process by which words or morphemes are re-formed or created on the model of existing grammatical patterns in a language, often leading to greater regularity in paradigms, as evidenced by helped replacing holp and holpen as the past tense and past participle of help on the model of verbs such as yelp, yelped, yelped.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A relationship of resemblance or equivalence between two situations, people, or objects, especially when used as a basis for explanation or extrapolation.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A resemblance of relations; an agreement or likeness between things in some circumstances or effects, when the things are otherwise entirely different. Thus, learning enlightens the mind, because it is to the mind what light is to the eye, enabling it to discover things before hidden.
  • n. A relation or correspondence in function, between organs or parts which are decidedly different.
  • n. Proportion; equality of ratios.
  • n. Conformity of words to the genius, structure, or general rules of a language; similarity of origin, inflection, or principle of pronunciation, and the like, as opposed to anomaly.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. In mathematics, an equation between ratios.
  • n. An agreement, likeness, or proportion between the relations of things to one another; hence, often, agreement or likeness of things themselves.
  • n. Specifically In logic, a form of reasoning in which, from the similarity of two or more things in certain particulars, their similarity in other particulars is inferred.
  • n. In grammar, conformity to the spirit, structure, or general rules of a language; similarity as respects any of the characteristics of a language, as derivation, inflection, spelling, pronunciation, etc.
  • n. In biology, resemblance without affinity; physiological or adaptive likeness between things morphologically or structurally unlike: the opposite of homology.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. an inference that if things agree in some respects they probably agree in others
  • n. drawing a comparison in order to show a similarity in some respect
  • n. the religious belief that between creature and creator no similarity can be found so great but that the dissimilarity is always greater; any analogy between God and humans will always be inadequate

Etymologies

Middle English analogie, from Old French, from Latin analogia, from Greek analogiā, from analogos, proportionate; see analogous.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin analogia, from Ancient Greek ἀναλογία (analogia), from ἀνά (ana) + λόγος (logos, "speech, reckoning") (Wiktionary)

Examples

Comments

Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • "In mathematics, an equation between ratios. This use is obsolete except in a few phrases, as Napier's analogies, which are four important formulas of spherical trigonometry."

    --CD&C

    February 13, 2013

  • Analogies in writing are like feathers on a snake.

    January 25, 2007