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[kuh m-par-uh-ter, kom-puh-rey-] /kəmˈpær ə tər, ˈkɒm pəˌreɪ-/
any of various instruments for making comparisons, as of lengths or distances, tints of colors, etc.
Electronics. a circuit for comparing two signals, as readings of duplicate information stored in a digital computer, and for giving an indication of agreement or disagreement between them.
Origin of comparator
1880-85; < Late Latin comparātor a comparer. See compare, -tor Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for comparator
Historical Examples
  • The lieutenant put the retinal photos in the comparator, took a good look, and nodded.

    Unwise Child Gordon Randall Garrett
  • The most important of these “tricks” is the use of a “standard” or “comparator”.

    The Atomic Fingerprint Bernard Keisch
  • Put the sample and comparator together into a reactor and bombard them with neutrons.

    The Atomic Fingerprint Bernard Keisch
  • In the comparator Vickers brought the corresponding standard comparison lines together.

    The Year When Stardust Fell Raymond F. Jones
British Dictionary definitions for comparator


any instrument used to measure a property of a system by comparing it with a standard system
an electric circuit that compares two signals and gives an indication of the extent of their dissimilarity
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for comparator

1883, agent noun in Latin form from compare.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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