Definitions

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

  • transitive v. To consider or describe as similar, equal, or analogous; liken.
  • transitive v. To examine in order to note the similarities or differences of.
  • transitive v. Grammar To form the positive, comparative, or superlative degree of (an adjective or adverb).
  • intransitive v. To be worthy of comparison; bear comparison: two concert halls that just do not compare.
  • intransitive v. To draw comparisons.
  • n. Comparison: a musician beyond compare.
  • idiom compare notes To exchange ideas, views, or opinions.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To form the three degrees of comparison of (an adjective).
  • v. To be similar (often used in the negative).
  • v. To get; to obtain.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Comparison.
  • n. Illustration by comparison; simile.
  • intransitive v. To be like or equal; to admit, or be worthy of, comparison.
  • intransitive v. To vie; to assume a likeness or equality.
  • transitive v. To examine the character or qualities of, as of two or more persons or things, for the purpose of discovering their resemblances or differences; to bring into comparison; to regard with discriminating attention.
  • transitive v. To represent as similar, for the purpose of illustration; to liken.
  • transitive v. To inflect according to the degrees of comparison; to state positive, comparative, and superlative forms of; as, most adjectives of one syllable are compared by affixing “- er” and “-est” to the positive form; ; those of more than one syllable are usually compared by prefixing “more” and “most”, or “less” and “least”, to the positive.
  • transitive v. To get; to procure; to obtain; to acquire.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To note the similarities and differences of (two or more things); bring together for the purpose of noting points of likeness and difference: used absolutely or followed by with, and sometimes by to: as, to compare two pieces of cloth.
  • To liken; parallel; represent as similar or analogous in any respect, for the purpose of illustration: with to governing the secondary object.
  • In grammar, to affect (an adjective or an adverb) so as to form the degrees of comparison; form or name the positive, comparative, and superlative degrees of (an adjective or adverb). See comparison, 5.
  • Synonyms Compare, Compare to, Compare, with, Contrast. Two things are compared in order to note the points of resemblance and difference between them; they are contrasted in order to note the points of difference. When one thing is compared to another, it is to show that the first is like the second, as, in Luke xv., the sinner is compared to a lost sheep, etc.; when one thing is compared with another, it is to show either difference or similarity, especially difference: as, the treatment of the Indians by Penn may be compared with the treatment of them by other colonists of America. Compare and contrast imply equality in the things examined; compare to and compare with do not, the object of the verb being the principal subject of thought.
  • To bear comparison; exhibit likeness, equality, etc.; be held like or equal.
  • To vie.
  • To prepare; procure; get.
  • n. Comparison.
  • n. Simile; similitude; illustration by comparison.
  • n. One who or that which is like; an equal.

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

  • v. to form the comparative or superlative form on an adjective or adverb
  • v. consider or describe as similar, equal, or analogous
  • n. qualities that are comparable
  • v. be comparable
  • v. examine and note the similarities or differences of

Etymologies

Middle English comparen, from Old French comparer, from Latin comparāre, from compār, equal : com-, com- + pār, equal; see perə-2 in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Latin comparare to prepare, procure; com- + parare. See prepare, parade. (Wiktionary)

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