I am having a hard time understanding the difference (if any) between 'analogous to' and 'similar to'. Take for instance these two sentences:

High level cognition is performed in a way analogous to symbolic computation.

and

High level cognition is performed in a way similar to symbolic computation.

  • Though a good reference might be hard to find in this instance, some evidence of (even unfruitful) relevant research is expected on ELU. – Edwin Ashworth Mar 6 '17 at 8:14
up vote 2 down vote accepted

There is a discussion of analogy and similarity (and other terms referring to alikeness here at M-W. The gist is this:

Similar refers to things that are somewhat alike, and those characteristics that are alike are the same in a direct comparison. For example, you might use "similar" to describe how a man had a remarkable likeness to his father.

Analogous refers to parallelism or correspondence. For example, the heart is analogous to a pump, or an airplane's joystick is somewhat analogous to the reins on a horse.

Your Answer

By clicking "Post Your Answer", you acknowledge that you have read our updated terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy, and that your continued use of the website is subject to these policies.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.