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’
    • ‘A similar comparison between 1940 and 1979 would have seen prices fall in value.’
    • ‘Calls for more bank holidays always invite comparisons - usually with the Continent.’
    • ‘Each comparison used the topology estimated from the particular sequences being compared.’
    • ‘We made similar comparisons for daily availability of routine appointments.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Of course, averages invite comparisons, and this figure varies hugely from car to car.’
    • ‘Hence, a comparison of the two estimates could give some clues as to how population size has changed over time.’
    • ‘The GMC drew a comparison between revalidation and the periodic assessments that airline pilots have to undergo.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘His potential and spiky energy have invited comparisons with some of the finest in Liverpool's history.’
    • ‘If it feels unfairly singled out, it should remember that this is a comparison it invited upon itself.’
    • ‘As the present sample did not include polyploid eudicots, a similar comparison for polyploids alone was not possible.’
    • ‘This approach was considered acceptable for the comparison of the panel rating data with the measured profiles.’
    • ‘A simple comparison between two apparently similar works illustrates the point.’
    • ‘We made a similar comparison with those reporting increased acting out when anxious.’
    • ‘To such we invite a rigid comparison of the principles and practice of the two schools at the present day.’
    • ‘How can this person make a subjective comparison to other similar games if they already don't like them?’
    • ‘This contention was examined through a comparison of two schools that varied considerably in the emphasis they placed on examinations.’
    contrast, juxtaposition, collation, differentiation
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    1. 1.1 An analogy.
      ‘perhaps the best comparison is that of seasickness’
      • ‘Until these questions are answered, a comparison to Greek rituals will just be speculative.’
      • ‘Perhaps a comparison could be made with alcohol, a potent and dangerous drug.’
      • ‘Its head was horse-like in its shape, though that is a very loose comparison.’
      • ‘In the original Greek sense, analogy involved a comparison of two proportions or relations.’
    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’
      • ‘There are no ceremonial procedures for entry to a civil relationship to avoid any parallel or comparison with marriage.’
      • ‘There is another interesting comparison between these two essays.’
      • ‘The beaches themselves had no comparison with Normandy: they were only a few hundred yards wide overlooked by cliffs and hills.’
      • ‘There's been a disconnection in recent coverage and there's still no comparison between the high cost airlines and ourselves.’
      • ‘In the quality of their play there has been no comparison between the two.’
      • ‘Watching him take his class, there's no comparison with my uncoached, half-hearted attempts.’
      resemblance, likeness, similarity, similitude, correspondence, correlation, parallel, parity, symmetry, equivalence, comparability, analogy
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  • 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’
      • ‘They were ‘insiders’, set apart from the community in a place that stood comparison with a prison.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘They respect him because he gets the job done, and his record stands comparison with any other coach in the world.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘For its price, there are few reds that stand comparison.’
      • ‘His record as Education Secretary and Home Secretary stands comparison with any of his predecessors.’
      • ‘Yet his talent stands comparison to those around him.’
  • beyond comparison

    • Surpassing all others of the same kind.

      ‘their spa services are fantastic and 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.’
      • ‘The merge between graphic design and photography is seamless and the end result is beyond comparison.’
      • ‘For Shirley, this was a tragedy beyond comparison.’
      • ‘Look, there are two events which are beyond comparison, which are unique events.’
      • ‘The intricate figurines that roll out of his sandalwood art when he opens one hand-held closet after another is beyond comparison.’
      • ‘It was sparking like a lake in the sun, but with a beauty beyond comparison.’
      • ‘That conversation was a gift beyond comparison.’
      • ‘And of course the difference in the human cost is almost beyond comparison.’
      • ‘At first, I'd just seen her as my strong friend who could do anything, and who was brave beyond comparison.’
      • ‘She's an expert on good music, and beautiful 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
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  • in (or by) comparison

    • When compared.

      ‘the Prime Minister's support staff is tiny in comparison with that of a US President’
      • ‘Doubtful prairie dogs have a proportionally larger neocortex in comparison to other mammals.’
      • ‘It is entertaining to read but seems rather trivial in comparison with its predecessor.’
      • ‘Of the things that he had seen in this world, this was only quite tame by comparison.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘It is a good vintage and the prices are pretty reasonable in comparison to the 2000.’
      • ‘I hate to compare but it makes my emotional state seem very beige by comparison.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Taxes in South Africa were relatively high in comparison to the rest of the subcontinent.’
      • ‘Our presupposition is pretty fantastical in comparison to the one held by the general population.’
      comparatively, in comparison, by comparison, proportionately
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Middle English: from Old French comparesoun, from Latin comparatio(n-), from comparare ‘to pair, match’ (see compare).