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[kuh m-par-uh-suh n] /kəmˈpær ə sən/
the act of comparing.
the state of being compared.
a likening; illustration by similitude; comparative estimate or statement.
Rhetoric. the considering of two things with regard to some characteristic that is common to both, as the likening of a hero to a lion in courage.
capability of being compared or likened.
  1. the function of an adverb or adjective that is used to indicate degrees of superiority or inferiority in quality, quantity, or intensity.
  2. the patterns of formation involved therein.
  3. the degrees of a particular word, displayed in a fixed order, as mild, milder, mildest, less mild, least mild.
Origin of comparison
1300-50; Middle English comparesoun < Old French comparaison < Latin comparātiōn- (stem of comparātiō). See compare, -ation
Related forms
intercomparison, noun
precomparison, noun
recomparison, noun
5. likeness, resemblance, similarity. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for comparison
  • Hall, a diminutive village in comparison, actually has a bigger old center.
  • comparison to modern birds provided the key to this puzzle.
  • Bailey used basic anatomical comparison to set the stage for his idea.
  • Maybe the more significant question should be a comparison of the safety of the two sports.
  • By comparison, pulled pork and beef brisket are unexceptional, the flavor pleasant but lacking definition.
  • For all this, though, the comparison has been overblown.
  • In comparison, a typical college instructor with a standard teaching load will spend nine hours a week directly teaching.
  • Perhaps you can suggest that comparison to her, so she can get a feel for your reality, not hers.
  • Now in comparison, at my first job no one bothered to contact me beforehand.
  • By comparison, there was nothing native to typewriting that encouraged the replication of texts.
British Dictionary definitions for comparison


the act or process of comparing
the state of being compared
comparable quality or qualities; likeness: there was no comparison between them
a rhetorical device involving comparison, such as a simile
(grammar) Also called degrees of comparison. the listing of the positive, comparative, and superlative forms of an adjective or adverb
bear comparison, stand comparison, to be sufficiently similar in class or range to be compared with (something else), esp favourably
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 comparison

mid-14c., from Old French comparaison (12c.), from Latin comparationem (nominative comparatio), noun of action from past participle stem of comparare "make equal with, liken, bring together for a contest," literally "to couple together, to form in pairs," from com- "with" (see com-) + parare "prepare" (see pare).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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