Definition of comparator in US English:



  • 1A device for comparing a measurable property or thing with a reference or standard.

    • ‘The spacing of the 1,0 reflections was measured with a comparator.’
    • ‘With the comparator, you can then measure the overall length with that bullet.’
    • ‘Using the OAL gauge with the test bullet in place, simply insert the bullet into the comparator and measure the distance from the base of the cartridge.’
    1. 1.1 An electronic circuit for comparing two electrical signals.
      • ‘The latching comparator detects any incoming signal that is above the stored negative voltage reference.’
      • ‘In addition, the analog-to-digital converter includes a state machine operable to receive outputs from the comparators and generate a digital output value.’
      • ‘The stored negative voltage is used as the negative voltage reference of the latching comparator.’
      • ‘The apparatus is constructed of two adders, a comparator and a multiplexer, and the next address is selected from the output of either of the two adders based on the output of the comparator.’
      • ‘It is no better or worse a comparator than the electricity authority.’
      • ‘A comparator connects to the drain circuitry of the input transistors which supplies and offsets voltage to the comparator.’
    2. 1.2 Something used as a standard for comparison.
      ‘even taking the most favorable comparator the company is about 20 percent higher’
      • ‘But, especially where the identity of the relevant comparator is a matter of dispute, this sequential analysis may give rise to needless problems.’
      • ‘The court affirmed the jury verdict in favor of the professor, concluding that she properly identified a specific male comparator, even though the comparator was outside of her department.’
      • ‘The last two comparators are not comparators in our view because these people are simply not living in a care home, either because they have been moved or because they have never lived in one.’
      • ‘If there was a material difference between the treatment of the appellant and his comparators, were the chosen comparators in an analogous situation?’
      • ‘First, in relation to identifying the appropriate comparators, it could argue that the standard could be fixed by looking at a less prestigious hospital.’


Late 19th century: from Latin comparat- ‘paired, matched’, from the verb comparare (see compare), + -or.