Definition of comparison in English:



  • 1The act or instance of comparing.

    ‘they drew a comparison between Gandhi's teaching and that of other teachers’
    [mass noun] ‘the two books invite comparison with one another’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘How can this person make a subjective comparison to other similar games if they already don't like them?’
    • ‘We made similar comparisons for daily availability of routine appointments.’
    • ‘Each comparison used the topology estimated from the particular sequences being compared.’
    • ‘The GMC drew a comparison between revalidation and the periodic assessments that airline pilots have to undergo.’
    • ‘This contention was examined through a comparison of two schools that varied considerably in the emphasis they placed on examinations.’
    • ‘Hence, a comparison of the two estimates could give some clues as to how population size has changed over time.’
    • ‘Calls for more bank holidays always invite comparisons - usually with the Continent.’
    • ‘A simple comparison between two apparently similar works illustrates the point.’
    • ‘He also makes light of the opinion poll comparison, but the comparison is sound.’
    • ‘His potential and spiky energy have invited comparisons with some of the finest in Liverpool's history.’
    • ‘As the present sample did not include polyploid eudicots, a similar comparison for polyploids alone was not possible.’
    • ‘Over the past decade I have read similar comparisons for many countries and regions of the developing world.’
    • ‘If similar comparisons are extended to the United States homeland, the conclusions are troubling.’
    • ‘To such we invite a rigid comparison of the principles and practice of the two schools at the present day.’
    • ‘A similar comparison between 1940 and 1979 would have seen prices fall in value.’
    • ‘We made a similar comparison with those reporting increased acting out when anxious.’
    • ‘Of course, averages invite comparisons, and this figure varies hugely from car to car.’
    • ‘This approach was considered acceptable for the comparison of the panel rating data with the measured profiles.’
    contrast, juxtaposition, collation, differentiation
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    1. 1.1An analogy.
      ‘perhaps the best comparison is that of seasickness’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Until these questions are answered, a comparison to Greek rituals will just be speculative.’
      • ‘In the original Greek sense, analogy involved a comparison of two proportions or relations.’
    2. 1.2The quality of being similar or equivalent.
      ‘if you want a thrill, there's no comparison to climbing on a truck and going out there on the expressway’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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 are no ceremonial procedures for entry to a civil relationship to avoid any parallel or comparison with marriage.’
      • ‘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
    The formation of the comparative and superlative forms of adjectives and adverbs.


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