Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • adjective Relating to, based on, or involving comparison.
  • adjective Of or relating to the scientific or historical comparison of different phenomena, institutions, or objects, such as languages, legal systems, or anatomical structures, in an effort to understand their origins or relationships.
  • adjective Estimated by comparison; relative.
  • adjective Grammar Of, relating to, or being the intermediate degree of comparison of adjectives, as better, sweeter, or more wonderful, or adverbs, as more softly.
  • noun The comparative degree.
  • noun An adjective or adverb expressing the comparative degree.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • Estimated by comparison; not positive or absolute; relative.
  • Proceeding by comparison; founded on comparison; especially, founded on the comparison or the parallel pursuit of different branches of the same science or study: as, comparative anatomy; comparative grammar.
  • Making use of comparison or the comparative method.
  • Having the power of comparing; capable of noting similarities and differences.
  • In grammar, implying comparison; denoting a higher degree of a quality, relation, etc., as belonging to one object or set of objects as compared with another.
  • noun One who is equal or pretends to be an equal; a rival; a competitor.
  • noun In grammar, the comparative degree, or a word expressing it. See I., 5.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun (Gram.) The comparative degree of adjectives and adverbs; also, the form by which the comparative degree is expressed.
  • noun obsolete An equal; a rival; a compeer.
  • noun obsolete One who makes comparisons; one who affects wit.
  • adjective Of or pertaining to comparison.
  • adjective Proceeding from, or by the method of, comparison.
  • adjective Estimated by comparison; relative; not positive or absolute, as compared with another thing or state.
  • adjective (Gram.) Expressing a degree greater or less than the positive degree of the quality denoted by an adjective or adverb. The comparative degree is formed from the positive by the use of -er, more, or less.
  • adjective those which are based on a comprehensive comparison of the range of objects or facts in any branch or department, and which aim to study out and treat of the fundamental laws or systems of relation pervading them; as, comparative anatomy, comparative physiology, comparative philology.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • adjective Of or relating to comparison.
  • adjective Using comparison as a method of study, or founded on something using it.
  • adjective Approximated by comparison; relative.
  • adjective obsolete Comparable; bearing comparison.
  • noun grammar A construction showing a relative quality, in English usually formed by adding more or appending -er. For example, the comparative of green is greener; of evil, more evil.
  • noun grammar A word in the comparative form.
  • noun obsolete An equal; a rival; a compeer.
  • noun obsolete One who makes comparisons; one who affects wit.

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

  • adjective estimated by comparison; not absolute or complete
  • noun the comparative form of an adjective or adverb
  • adjective relating to or based on or involving comparison

Etymologies

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Originated 1400–50 from late Middle English comparative, from Latin comparativus, equivalent to comparatus, from comparare ("to compare") + -ive, from Latin -ivus.

Examples

  • She said South Africa could play a pivotal role to promote cooperation because the country enjoyed what she called comparative advantages over many African countries.

    ANC Daily News Briefing

  • Altruism and honesty among different cultures are difficult to measure and compare, but in 2003 a University of Michigan Law School professor conducted what he called a comparative study on recovering lost property in the United States and Japan.

    News - latimes.com

  • Altruism and honesty among different cultures are difficult to measure and compare, but in 2003 a University of Michigan Law School professor conducted what he called a comparative study on recovering lost property in the United States and Japan.

    News - latimes.com

  • The UCC has been pressing for the creation of a Holodomor gallery that receives "no less coverage" than the Holocaust, while the UCCLA feels all genocides should be explored throughout the entire museum in what it calls a "comparative, thematic and inclusive manner."

    The Globe and Mail - Home RSS feed

  • The UCC has been pressing for the creation of a Holodomor gallery that receives "no less coverage" than the Holocaust, while the UCCLA feels all genocides should be explored throughout the entire museum in what it calls a "comparative, thematic and inclusive manner."

    The Globe and Mail - Home RSS feed

  • Altruism and honesty among different cultures are difficult to measure and compare, but in 2003 a University of Michigan Law School professor conducted what he called a comparative study on recovering lost property in the United States and Japan.

    News - latimes.com

  • Ummm, maybe you speak French already, what with having a doctorate in comparative literature from Stanford, but we will teach it to you with a certain je ne sais quoi that is irreplaceable.

    Archive 2010-03-01

  • You have a degree in comparative literature from Harvard but dropped out before getting your Ph.D. from Yale.

    Lev Grossman - An interview with author

  • Grossman holds degrees in comparative literature from Harvard and Yale.

    Lev Grossman biography

  • All my days had been passed in comparative ignorance of the animality of man.

    Chapter 12

Comments

New comments are temporarily disabled while we update our database.