AskDefine | Define similarity

Dictionary Definition



1 the quality of being similar [ant: dissimilarity]
2 a Getalt principle of organization holding that (other things being equal) parts of a stimulus field that are similar to each other tend to be perceived as belonging together as a unit [syn: law of similarity]

User Contributed Dictionary



  1. Closeness of appearance to something else.
  2. The relation of sharing properties.



Extensive Definition

Similarity is some degree of symmetry in either analogy and resemblance between two or more concepts or objects. The notion of similarity rests either on exact or approximate repetitions of patterns in the compared items. In the case of approximate repetitions we talk about statistical similarity as found in a fractal and its parts. Finding similarities or distinguishing between dissimilarities depends on the faculties of pattern recognition and disambiguation, respectively.
A general method to calculate probability of an event based on another similar event is called relative probability If A, B are different events Probability of A = P(A) Then P(B) = P(A) x R where R is the similarity ratio between A,B If A=B --> R=1 If A R=0

Specific definitions

Different fields provide differing definitions of similarity:

See also

difference, sameness, equality
similarity in German: Ähnlichkeit
similarity in French: similitude

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

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