n. pl. a·nal·o·gies
a. A similarity in some respects between things that are otherwise dissimilar: sees an analogy between viral infection and the spread of ideas.
b. A comparison based on such similarity: made an analogy between love and a fever.
2. Biology Correspondence in function or position between organs of dissimilar evolutionary origin or structure.
3. A form of reasoning based on the assumption that if two things are known to be alike in some respects, then they are probably alike in other respects.
4. 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.
[Middle English analogie, from Old French, from Latin analogia, from Greek analogiā, from analogos, proportionate; see ANALOGOUS.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.