Definition of compare in English:

compare

verb

[WITH OBJECT]
  • 1Estimate, measure, or note the similarity or dissimilarity between.

    ‘individual schools compared their facilities with those of others in the area’
    ‘the survey compares prices in different countries’
    ‘total attendance figures were 28,000, compared to 40,000 at last year's event’
    • ‘These estimates of intrusion times may be compared to estimates based on magma supply through dykes.’
    • ‘Each patch was then dried and the water areas measured and compared to sample weight.’
    • ‘Products carrying a strong brand usually attract a price premium compared to similar but unbranded products.’
    • ‘Premature babies are often compared to a different chart since they were born early.’
    • ‘They, however, said that the price range for small cars is high compared to other cars of the same group.’
    • ‘Surely the price of dinner would be cheap compared to few days in an ICU unit.’
    • ‘This equivalent nonconvertible bond price is then compared to the convertible bond price.’
    • ‘The bupivacaine-inhibition test was also compared to the inhibitor-free test.’
    • ‘The report states that rates within the hospital are falling compared to other hospitals of similar size.’
    • ‘A drawback in its use is the cost of measurement, although when compared to using molecular markers it is not very high.’
    • ‘The test was compared to one where similar cells were not exposed to such radio waves.’
    • ‘Then the results from the three labs need to be compared to see if the test is reliable.’
    • ‘In both countries opposition has increased compared to a similar survey last year.’
    • ‘Each dog is compared to the judge's mental image of the perfect specimen of that breed.’
    • ‘They differ over how serious these problems are, compared to capitalism's benefits.’
    • ‘The wine list, again, was cheap compared to uptown prices and so we settled for a bottle of Brouilly at just under thirty bucks.’
    • ‘However, he feels that it is not fair for him to be compared to Mickey as both are very different artists.’
    • ‘Similar patterns were detected compared to those described above.’
    • ‘Those factors are reflected in the government's inflation measure, which simply compares price changes for a set list of items.’
    • ‘He commissioned a survey that would compare British prices with those in other countries.’
    contrast, set side by side, juxtapose, collate, differentiate, weigh up, balance, balance the differences between, measure the differences between, weigh the differences between
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1Point out or describe the resemblances with; liken to.
      ‘her novel was compared to the work of Daniel Defoe’
    2. 1.2Draw an analogy between one thing and (another) for the purposes of explanation or clarification.
      ‘he compared the religions to different paths towards the peak of the same mountain’
      • ‘I like to use the analogy of comparing a campaign to a car.’
      • ‘Luther, for example, frequently compared children to young trees, describing them as flexible and still amenable to being shaped.’
      • ‘At the time I would have compared her to a whirlwind, for wherever she went chaos and confusion invariably followed.’
      • ‘If this does not come up promptly, the therapist asks if they would accept to compare their problem to whatever analogical image comes to the mind of the therapist.’
      • ‘Shrugging these lofty analogies a bunch of students compared the roof to an inverted computer.’
      • ‘Indeed, it would be fairer to compare her to another insect - a busy, buzzy bumble bee.’
      • ‘We use things like analogies and say well compare it to how a flower grows, or find a comparison that is an every day common experience that makes sense.’
      • ‘You might think that this isn't a very good analogy, comparing prisons to a commercial passenger jet.’
      • ‘In one of the more uncomfortable analogies I've ever heard, Reineke compares it to the singles life.’
      • ‘The central argument that illegal file swapping is a serious crime comes from an analogy that compares it to simple theft - that is, to going into a store to shoplift a CD by hiding it in one's jacket.’
      • ‘We often compare the construction process to a military operation, but she prefers the analogy of a well choreographed ballet.’
      • ‘He compares his subject to shoddy construction, and that's an analogy we can work with, because in software we're working at the thrilling edge of language and craftsmanship.’
    3. 1.3[no object, with adverbial]Have a specified relationship with another thing or person in terms of nature or quality.
      ‘salaries compare favourably with those of other professions’
      • ‘How does it compare with the thrills of early Microsoft?’
      • ‘To understand our new defense vision, we can view it in terms of how it compares to what came before; clearly, it differs from our former strategies.’
      • ‘We also compare unfavourably in relation to income distribution, which has a major influence on health.’
      • ‘While return of 4.5 per cent is not particularly attractive, it compares favourably with term deposit rates from the bank, subject to your tax position.’
      • ‘Bottom line, for me, is that it works, works quickly and, in terms of side-effects, compares favourably with, say, antidepressant medication.’
      • ‘It remains to be seen how outcomes will compare with conventional approaches.’
      • ‘For single people, Ireland now compares favourably in after-tax terms with most European countries.’
      • ‘He has been in the theatre for over 40 years and some of his work could favourably compare with the best in European theatre.’
      • ‘How does the advice you give your clients compare with your own approach?’
      • ‘We discuss how the relation between income inequality and these physical and mental health conditions compares with the relation between family income and health.’
      • ‘His nine-year sentence, as his attorney rightly points out, compares unfavourably to the terms handed out to robbers.’
      • ‘It will be interesting to see how this compares with the old one in terms of reliability and/or archive issues.’
      • ‘Backer board was developed several years ago as a clean and simple method and compares in quality to the traditional but difficult route of doing a mortar bed.’
      • ‘The answer depends on you - or more precisely on how you compare with rivals for these jobs.’
      • ‘How do quality control practices compare with current regulatory requirements?’
      • ‘While the quality compares poorly with developed countries, conditions are superior to what is available even a few miles outside the urban boundaries.’
    4. 1.4[no object, usually with negative]Be of an equal or similar nature or quality.
      ‘the dried stuff just can't compare with the taste and aroma of fresh basil’
      • ‘Many of the theoretical physicists who are alive today may not live to see how the real Nature compares with her mathematical description in their work.’
      • ‘Maybe you thought my pain and my loss couldn't possibly ever compare with yours.’
      • ‘As for the others, Elizabeth I deserves a high place, but most of the others don't quite compare with the three above.’
      • ‘This American artist has a fantastic voice but, unfortunately, her material doesn't compare with her vocal talent.’
      • ‘Maybe the thrills just don't compare with the the countless sci-fi/horror movies hitting our screens from the states.’
      • ‘The small flaws do not begin to compare to the fine qualities of this disc.’
      • ‘Our small market and the scale of companies can't compare with those in, say, Korea or the US.’
      • ‘When it came to tie holes, however, nothing could compare with the drama of the match.’
      • ‘I know I knock it a lot, but the fact is, there's no other city in the world that compares in terms of culture, commerce, and energy.’
      • ‘Nothing, though, will compare with competing in the Masters.’
      • ‘There are few singers in Australia who can compare with her.’
      • ‘The only thing approaching a standard to compare with the floppy is the CD-R which is an inconvenient form factor and scores low on ease of use.’
      • ‘In an interview with the Herald, he said there was nothing in Australia to compare with the limestone scenery around Craven.’
      • ‘Because if there were an experience to compare with that, I'm thinking it would be a rather undersubscribed activity.’
      • ‘But that can't compare with the innovation and confidence that we see in Magnolia.’
      • ‘While being an archivist cannot compare with the excitement of working for the security services, it most certainly is not dull.’
      • ‘Nevertheless, he was a political thinker of genius, one to compare with any of the great names of the 18th century.’
      • ‘None of his rivals had a record that even began to compare with his, but the past counted for nothing now.’
      • ‘Care home owners claim the financial cost of meeting the new standards cannot compare with the cash they are paid by local authorities to keep going.’
      • ‘The pear is its nearest rival, but its cool, smooth skin cannot compare with the warm knap of a peach.’
  • 2Grammar
    Form the comparative and superlative degrees of (an adjective or an adverb)

    ‘words of one syllable are usually compared by ‘-er’ and ‘-est’’

noun

literary
  • Of a quality or nature surpassing all others of the same kind.

    ‘a diamond beyond compare’
    • ‘The food, atmosphere and service are beyond compare!’
    • ‘Year One is an action-adventure story without compare.’
    • ‘The services provided by the splendid nurses were beyond compare.’
    • ‘Whether she is singing a traditional folk song, a ballad, or a song with a message, she is a singer without compare.’
    • ‘It also means that Friday night is sweet beyond compare, because I've really put in a day.’
    • ‘Off the field of play he has had his critics but on it, he is without compare.’
    • ‘Everything about him had been perfect beyond compare, and I had thought that if things were going to change, they were only going to get better.’
    • ‘Having lived there for nearly 30 years, I discovered a community spirit beyond compare.’
    • ‘Any licensee fortunate enough to receive praise from this esteemed tome can be guaranteed success beyond compare for years to come.’
    • ‘It is a rendition beyond compare of timeless truths and of mystical dimensions.’
    without equal, without match, without parallel, beyond comparison, second to none, in a class of one's own
    peerless, matchless, unmatched, incomparable, inimitable, superlative, supreme, top, outstanding, consummate, unique, singular, rare, perfect
    par excellence
    View synonyms

Usage

Is there any difference between compare with and compare to, and is one more correct than the other? There is a slight difference, in that it is usual to use to rather than with when describing the resemblance, by analogy, of two quite different things, as in critics compared Ellington's music to the music of Beethoven and Brahms. In the sense ‘estimate the similarity or dissimilarity between’, with is often preferred to to, as in schools compared their facilities with those of others in the area. However, in practice the distinction is not clear-cut and both compare with and compare to can be used in either context

Phrases

  • compare notes

    • Exchange ideas, opinions, or information about a particular subject.

      ‘the women compared notes on how their husbands were doing’
      • ‘Recently I've been thinking a good bit about relationships, and comparing notes with friends on the subject.’
      • ‘He has no teammate to compare notes and ideas with.’
      • ‘The exchange has allowed them to compare notes and learn from each other.’
      • ‘They've been exchanging opinions and comparing notes since the early 1980s.’
      • ‘This offers an outstanding way to ‘cross-pollinate’ information by comparing notes in an environment that would force analysts to stand behind their work.’
      • ‘The coaches do not waste their time here either: they compare notes and exchange experiences.’
      • ‘Subject matter experts from each nation paired off to compare notes in areas such as maintenance, fire prevention and weapons storage.’
      • ‘I laughed and changed the subject, comparing notes on gifts we had bought for family and mutual friends.’
      • ‘In the course of casual conversation, they compare notes, share information, and swap impressions about business conditions.’
      • ‘Meet, greet, pump for information and meet outside to compare notes.’

Origin

Late Middle English: from Old French comparer, from Latin comparare, from compar like, equal, from com- with + par equal.

Pronunciation:

compare

/kəmˈpɛː/