Definition of comparison in English:



  • 1A consideration or estimate of the similarities or dissimilarities between two things or people.

    ‘they drew a comparison between Gandhi's teaching and that of other teachers’
    mass noun ‘the two books invite comparison with one another’
    • ‘As the present sample did not include polyploid eudicots, a similar comparison for polyploids alone was not possible.’
    • ‘If it feels unfairly singled out, it should remember that this is a comparison it invited upon itself.’
    • ‘A comparison of estimates of dip separation based on onshore geology and seismic data is presented later in the paper.’
    • ‘If similar comparisons are extended to the United States homeland, the conclusions are troubling.’
    • ‘Over the past decade I have read similar comparisons for many countries and regions of the developing world.’
    • ‘He also makes light of the opinion poll comparison, but the comparison is sound.’
    • ‘We made similar comparisons for daily availability of routine appointments.’
    • ‘Of course, averages invite comparisons, and this figure varies hugely from car to car.’
    • ‘The GMC drew a comparison between revalidation and the periodic assessments that airline pilots have to undergo.’
    • ‘This approach was considered acceptable for the comparison of the panel rating data with the measured profiles.’
    • ‘Each comparison used the topology estimated from the particular sequences being compared.’
    • ‘A similar comparison between 1940 and 1979 would have seen prices fall in value.’
    • ‘This contention was examined through a comparison of two schools that varied considerably in the emphasis they placed on examinations.’
    • ‘To such we invite a rigid comparison of the principles and practice of the two schools at the present day.’
    • ‘Hence, a comparison of the two estimates could give some clues as to how population size has changed over time.’
    • ‘A simple comparison between two apparently similar works illustrates the point.’
    • ‘Calls for more bank holidays always invite comparisons - usually with the Continent.’
    • ‘We made a similar comparison with those reporting increased acting out when anxious.’
    • ‘His potential and spiky energy have invited comparisons with some of the finest in Liverpool's history.’
    • ‘How can this person make a subjective comparison to other similar games if they already don't like them?’
    contrast, juxtaposition, collation, differentiation
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 An analogy.
      ‘perhaps the best comparison is that of seasickness’
      • ‘Its head was horse-like in its shape, though that is a very loose comparison.’
      • ‘Perhaps a comparison could be made with alcohol, a potent and dangerous drug.’
      • ‘In the original Greek sense, analogy involved a comparison of two proportions or relations.’
      • ‘Until these questions are answered, a comparison to Greek rituals will just be speculative.’
    2. 1.2mass noun The quality of being similar or equivalent.
      ‘when it comes to achievements this season, there's no comparison between Linfield and Bangor’
      • ‘In the quality of their play there has been no comparison between the two.’
      • ‘The beaches themselves had no comparison with Normandy: they were only a few hundred yards wide overlooked by cliffs and hills.’
      • ‘Watching him take his class, there's no comparison with my uncoached, half-hearted attempts.’
      • ‘There are no ceremonial procedures for entry to a civil relationship to avoid any parallel or comparison with marriage.’
      • ‘There's been a disconnection in recent coverage and there's still no comparison between the high cost airlines and ourselves.’
      • ‘There is another interesting comparison between these two essays.’
      resemblance, likeness, similarity, similitude, correspondence, correlation, parallel, parity, symmetry, equivalence, comparability, analogy
      View synonyms
  • 2Grammar
    mass noun The formation of the comparative and superlative forms of adjectives and adverbs.


  • bear (or stand) comparison

    • Be of sufficient quality to be likened favourably to someone or something of the same kind.

      ‘our pupils' results will bear comparison with any in Scotland’
      • ‘For its price, there are few reds that stand comparison.’
      • ‘But their track record stands comparison to anybody's in their own right.’
      • ‘His record stands comparison with any in world football and is defined by the flexibility of his approach to the challenge of building a team.’
      • ‘Defying all the normal rules which dictate that youth and creative energy go together, it can conjure up late-flowering works that stand comparison or even outstrip anything that an artist has produced in his earlier career.’
      • ‘Yet his talent stands comparison to those around him.’
      • ‘They were ‘insiders’, set apart from the community in a place that stood comparison with a prison.’
      • ‘They respect him because he gets the job done, and his record stands comparison with any other coach in the world.’
      • ‘His record as Education Secretary and Home Secretary stands comparison with any of his predecessors.’
      • ‘Few would pretend that an MBA stands comparison with a master's degree in basic sciences in scholarship or scientific content.’
      • ‘But the result is an industry which stands comparison with any elsewhere in the world.’
  • beyond comparison

    • Surpassing all others of the same kind.

      ‘their spa services are fantastic and beyond comparison’
      • ‘The merge between graphic design and photography is seamless and the end result is beyond comparison.’
      • ‘It was sparking like a lake in the sun, but with a beauty beyond comparison.’
      • ‘The intricate figurines that roll out of his sandalwood art when he opens one hand-held closet after another is beyond comparison.’
      • ‘That conversation was a gift beyond comparison.’
      • ‘For Shirley, this was a tragedy beyond comparison.’
      • ‘Look, there are two events which are beyond comparison, which are unique events.’
      • ‘At first, I'd just seen her as my strong friend who could do anything, and who was brave beyond comparison.’
      • ‘And of course the difference in the human cost is almost beyond comparison.’
      • ‘She's an expert on good music, and beautiful beyond comparison.’
      • ‘Whether it is in doing good to others, solving a difficult problem, or simply doing the right thing, man experiences a certain glow of pleasure that is beyond comparison.’
      unmatched, unrivalled, unparalleled, unequalled, matchless, peerless, without peer, without equal, in a class of its own, all-time best, inimitable, incomparable, beyond compare, beyond comparison, second to none, unsurpassable, surpassing, nonpareil
      View synonyms
  • in (or by) comparison

    • When compared.

      ‘the Prime Minister's support staff is tiny in comparison with that of a US President’
      • ‘The amount of weblogs that get a lot of traffic each day is pretty tiny in comparison with the number of weblogs in the world.’
      • ‘Doubtful prairie dogs have a proportionally larger neocortex in comparison to other mammals.’
      • ‘I hate to compare but it makes my emotional state seem very beige by comparison.’
      • ‘Our presupposition is pretty fantastical in comparison to the one held by the general population.’
      • ‘Taxes in South Africa were relatively high in comparison to the rest of the subcontinent.’
      • ‘In a word, it was rather trite and pale by comparison to past years.’
      • ‘He showed them that the lives they had before were pretty good in comparison.’
      • ‘Of the things that he had seen in this world, this was only quite tame by comparison.’
      • ‘It is a good vintage and the prices are pretty reasonable in comparison to the 2000.’
      • ‘It is entertaining to read but seems rather trivial in comparison with its predecessor.’
      comparatively, in comparison, by comparison, proportionately
      View synonyms


Middle English: from Old French comparesoun, from Latin comparatio(n-), from comparare ‘to pair, match’ (see compare).