verb (used with object), compared, comparing.
to examine (two or more objects, ideas, people, etc.) in order to note similarities and differences: to compare two pieces of cloth; to compare the governments of two nations.
to consider or describe as similar; liken: Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?
Grammar. to form or display the degrees of comparison of (an adjective or adverb).
verb (used without object), compared, comparing.
to be worthy of comparison; be held equal: Dekker's plays cannot compare with Shakespeare's.
to appear in a similar standing: His recital certainly compares with the one he gave last year.
to differ in quality or accomplishment as specified: Their development compares poorly with that of neighbor nations.
to vie; rival.
to make a comparison: The only way we can say which product is better is to compare.
comparison: Her beauty is beyond compare.
compare notes. note ( def 32 ).

1375–1425; late Middle English comparen < Latin comparāre to place together, match, verbal derivative of compar alike, matching (see com-, par); replacing Middle English comperen < Old French comperer < Latin

comparer, noun
intercompare, verb (used with object), intercompared, intercomparing.
precompare, verb (used with object), precompared, precomparing.
recompare, verb (used with object), recompared, recomparing.
uncompared, adjective
well-compared, adjective

compare, contrast (see usage note at the current entry).

The traditional rule about which preposition to use after compare states that compare should be followed by to when it points out likenesses or similarities between two apparently dissimilar persons or things: She compared his handwriting to knotted string. Compare should be followed by with, the rule says, when it points out similarities or differences between two entities of the same general class: The critic compared the paintings in the exhibit with magazine photographs. This rule is by no means always observed, however, even in formal speech and writing. The usual practice is to employ to for likenesses between members of different classes: A language may be compared to a living organism. But when the comparison is between members of the same category, both to and with are used: The article compares the Chicago of today with (or to) the Chicago of the 1890s. Following the past participle compared, either to or with is used regardless of whether differences or similarities are stressed or whether the things compared belong to the same or different classes: Compared with (or to) the streets of 18th-century London, New York's streets are models of cleanliness and order.
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
compare (kəmˈpɛə)
vb (usually foll by to) (usually foll by with) (usually foll by with) (usually foll by with)
1.  to regard or represent as analogous or similar; liken: the general has been compared to Napoleon
2.  to examine in order to observe resemblances or differences: to compare rum with gin
3.  to be of the same or similar quality or value: gin compares with rum in alcoholic content
4.  (intr) to bear a specified relation of quality or value when examined: this car compares badly with the other
5.  to correspond to: profits were £3.2 million. This compares with £2.6 million last year
6.  (tr) grammar to give the positive, comparative, and superlative forms of (an adjective)
7.  archaic (intr) to compete or vie
8.  compare notes to exchange opinions
9.  comparison or analogy (esp in the phrase beyond compare)
[C15: from Old French comparer, from Latin comparāre to couple together, match, from compar equal to one another, from com- together + par equal; see par]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin & History

late 14c., from O.Fr. comperer (12c., Mod.Fr. comparer), from L.L. comparare "to liken, to compare" (see comparison). To compare notes is from 1708. Related: Comparing (late 14c.). Phrase without compare (attested from 1620s, but similar phrasing dates to 1530s) seems
to be altered by folk etymology from compeer "rival."
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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