Definition of ilk in English:



in singular
  • 1A type of person or thing similar to one already referred to.

    ‘the veiled suggestions that reporters of his ilk seem to be so good at’
    ‘there was music by Parry and Elgar and others of that ilk’
    • ‘I suspect my old school chums, those who were of the right ilk, went down this path and have continued.’
    • ‘The drive to increase access to universities fits in with New Labour pronouncements on social inclusion and the ilk.’
    • ‘But so it was until it was won by vibrant and brave men of the ilk of Sir George.’
    • ‘Don't expect players of the ilk of Zidane and Hagi to continue holding court in the knock-out stages though.’
    • ‘As a former footballer myself, I know that they are of the simplest ilk.’
    • ‘The Book Store takes any kind of books in trade, and will give you store credit for books of the same ilk.’
    • ‘His latest venture is of a different ilk, reliant as it is on appealing to the wider community in North Carolina.’
    • ‘You would hardly say that the Greens are monarchists or from the conservative ilk.’
    • ‘Yet rather than opting for safe tracks of the same ilk, Doves have chosen to expand their sound.’
    • ‘We came to the conclusion that comic fans of a certain ilk become acutely aware of Betty.’
    • ‘Their music has a certain chill of winter to it that most bands of a similar ilk don't possess.’
    • ‘Our reply to this reader and other critics of the same ilk is that they seem to have ignored our initial argument.’
    • ‘I expect almost all other Boers in the South African cricket side to be of a similar ilk.’
    • ‘I grieve for both that they have had to, and still must, live amongst the ilk known as the British.’
    • ‘All my friends and acquaintances throughout my life have been of the same ilk.’
    • ‘He proves he is in the same ilk as other great soul singers like Barry White and Marvin Gaye.’
    • ‘The one thing lacking on first inspection is a goal machine in the ilk of Kevin Phillips.’
    • ‘After a few minutes one song tends to blend into the other and indeed many other bands of the ilk.’
    • ‘It is something more of the sort of ilk we would expect in terms of a Government bill regulating a profession.’
    • ‘The sorts of excuses we are seeing from George and his ilk are truly disgusting.’
    type, sort, class, category, group, set, bracket, genre, kidney, grain, species, race, strain, vintage, make, model, brand, stamp, variety, family
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1of that ilkScottish archaic Of the place or estate of the same name.
      ‘Sir Iain Moncreiffe of that Ilk’
      • ‘Wallace, whose father liked to pretend that he could trace his family tree back to William of that ilk and claim kinship, proposed the theory of evolution by natural selection independently of Darwin.’
      • ‘Especially since one of her new housemates was big Colin Montgomerie of that ilk, hardly likely to be Mr Chuckles over breakfast.’
      • ‘Father Peter Lamont of that ilk, head of the Lamont clan, is a Catholic priest who teaches children in New South Wales.’
      • ‘Check it out at the new Edra store in London's Selfridges, designed by Ab Rogers, son of Lord Richard of that ilk.’
      • ‘A wry smile at that one, you suspect, from Sir Alex of that ilk, currently brooding on the other side of the same city.’


Today ilk is used in phrases such as of his ilk and of that ilk to mean ‘type’ or ‘sort’. This sense arose out of a misunderstanding of the earlier, Scottish use in the phrase of that ilk, where it means ‘of the same name or place’. For this reason, some traditionalists regard the modern use as incorrect. It is, however, the only common current sense and is now part of standard English


Old English ilca ‘same’, of Germanic origin; related to alike.