Definitions

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

  • noun The act of comparing or the process of being compared.
  • noun A statement or estimate of similarities and differences.
  • noun The quality of being similar or equivalent; likeness.
  • noun Grammar The modification or inflection of an adjective or adverb to denote the positive, comparative, and superlative degrees, as in English, along with the equative degree in certain other languages, such as Irish Gaelic.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun The act of comparing; transition of thought or observation from one object to another, for the discovery of their likeness or unlikeness; the study or investigation of relations.
  • noun An act of comparing; a comparative estimate or statement; a consideration of likeness or difference in regard to particular persons or things.
  • noun Comparable state, condition, or character; any relation of similitude or resemblance; capability of being compared; power of comparing: as, the one is so much superior to the other that there is no comparison between them.
  • noun Something with which another thing is compared; a similitude, or illustration by similitude; a parallel.
  • noun In grammar, the variation of an adjective or (much more rarely) adverb to express a higher and the highest degree of what is denoted by the adjective or adverb.
  • noun In rhetoric, the considering of two things with regard to some quality or characteristic which is common to them both, as the likening of a hero to a lion in courage.
  • noun In phrenology, one of the reflecting faculties, whose supposed function is to give the power of perceiving resemblances and differences or other analogies, and to produce a tendency to compare one thing with another. See phrenology
  • To compare.

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

  • noun The act of comparing; an examination of two or more objects with the view of discovering the resemblances or differences; relative estimate.
  • noun The state of being compared; a relative estimate; also, a state, quality, or relation, admitting of being compared.
  • noun That to which, or with which, a thing is compared, as being equal or like; illustration; similitude.
  • noun (Gram.) The modification, by inflection or otherwise, which the adjective and adverb undergo to denote degrees of quality or quantity.
  • noun (Rhet.) A figure by which one person or thing is compared to another, or the two are considered with regard to some property or quality, which is common to them both; e.g., the lake sparkled like a jewel.
  • noun (Phren.) The faculty of the reflective group which is supposed to perceive resemblances and contrasts.
  • noun so far superior as to have no likeness, or so as to make comparison needless.
  • noun [Archaic] as compared with; in proportion to.
  • transitive verb obsolete To compare.

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

  • noun The act of comparing or the state or process of being compared
  • noun An evaluation of the similarities and differences of one or more things relative to some other or each-other
  • noun With a negation, the state of being similar or alike
  • noun grammar The ability of adjectives and adverbs to form three degrees.

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

  • noun the act of examining resemblances
  • noun qualities that are comparable
  • noun relation based on similarities and differences

Etymologies

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

[Middle English comparisoun, from Old French comparaison, from Latin comparātiō, comparātiōn-, from comparātus, past participle of comparāre, to compare; see compare.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Old French comparaison, from Latin comparatio, from comparatus, the past participle of comparare 'to compare'.

Examples

  • Biology -- _Comparative Anatomy_; but I would ask whether _comparison_, and that classification which is the result of comparison, are not the essence of every science whatsoever?

    Lay Sermons, Addresses and Reviews

  • _comparison_; there are two degrees of comparison, the comparative, which increases or diminishes the quality, is formed by adding _er_ to the adjective in its positive state; the superlative increases or diminishes the comparative to its last degree, and is formed by adding

    A Week of Instruction and Amusement, or, Mrs. Harley's birthday present to her daughter : interspersed with short stories, outlines of sacred and prophane history, geography &c.

  • A group blog in comparison is a cacophony requiring more effort and providing less reward for that effort.

    Discourse.net: Yes, I am a Data Glutton

  • If a comparison is ever warranted, he will look like a mental giant in comparison to the Alaskan Brood Sow.

    Huckabee warns Palin: Don't leave GOP

  • Any sort that makes you smaller in comparison is the bad kind.

    Matthew Yglesias » Wonks and Teachers

  • The UK, in comparison, is inferior – we can only muster an A3.

    Mining rescue lifts Chile's credit rating up into the light

  • Online reading of magazines (as opposed to blogs) suffers in comparison from the lack of instant ability for the reader to go to the article or report being discussed -- I have lost track of the number of times I've had to find a site via Google, then get mired in some Internet distraction and lose the thread, or never return.

    Snaring readers on the hop

  • Online reading of magazines (as opposed to blogs) suffers in comparison from the lack of instant ability for the reader to go to the article or report being discussed -- I have lost track of the number of times I've had to find a site via Google, then get mired in some Internet distraction and lose the thread, or never return.

    March 2008

  • Online reading of magazines (as opposed to blogs) suffers in comparison from the lack of instant ability for the reader to go to the article or report being discussed -- I have lost track of the number of times I've had to find a site via Google, then get mired in some Internet distraction and lose the thread, or never return.

    Snaring readers on the hop

  • Hell seems to be ever-changing; Heaven's Bliss in comparison is static (although continuous change can get rather static after a while, but it's a surprise!) and who said change is bad?

    17th C. paper: On Satan

Comments

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  • Comparisons are as bad as clichés.

    January 25, 2007