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

  • intransitive verb To consider or describe as similar, equal, or analogous; liken.
  • intransitive verb To examine in order to note the similarities or differences of.
  • intransitive verb Grammar To form the positive, comparative, or superlative degree of (an adjective or adverb).
  • intransitive verb To be worthy of comparison; bear comparison.
  • intransitive verb To draw comparisons.
  • noun Comparison.
  • idiom (compare notes) To exchange ideas, views, or opinions.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • 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.
  • noun Comparison.
  • noun Simile; similitude; illustration by comparison.
  • noun One who or that which is like; an equal.
  • To prepare; procure; get.

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

  • intransitive verb To be like or equal; to admit, or be worthy of, comparison.
  • intransitive verb To vie; to assume a likeness or equality.
  • transitive verb obsolete To get; to procure; to obtain; to acquire.
  • transitive verb 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 verb To represent as similar, for the purpose of illustration; to liken.
  • transitive verb (Gram.) 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.
  • noun Archaic Comparison.
  • noun obsolete Illustration by comparison; simile.
  • noun See Beyond comparison, under Comparison.

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

  • verb transitive, grammar To form the three degrees of comparison of (an adjective).
  • verb intransitive To be similar (often used in the negative).
  • verb obsolete To get; to obtain.

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

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


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

[Middle English comparen, from Old French comparer, from Latin comparāre, from compār, equal : com-, com- + pār, equal; see perə- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Latin comparare to prepare, procure; com- + parare. See prepare, parade.


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