- of or relating to comparison.
- proceeding by, founded on, or using comparison as a method of study: comparative anatomy.
- estimated by comparison; not positive or absolute; relative: a comparative newcomer in politics; to live in comparative luxury.
- Grammar. being, noting, or pertaining to the intermediate degree of the comparison of adjectives, as better and more beautiful, the comparative forms of good and beautiful, and of adverbs, as nearer and more carefully, the comparative forms of near and carefully.Compare positive(def 21), superlative(def 2).
- the comparative degree.
- a form in the comparative.
Origin of comparative
- denoting or involving comparisoncomparative literature
- judged by comparison; relativea comparative loss of prestige
- grammar denoting the form of an adjective that indicates that the quality denoted is possessed to a greater extent. In English the comparative form of an adjective is usually marked by the suffix -er or the word moreCompare positive (def. 10), superlative (def. 2)
- the comparative form of an adjective
mid-15c., from Middle French comparatif, from Latin comparativus "pertaining to comparison," from comparat-, past participle stem of comparare (see comparison). Originally grammatical; general sense is from c.1600; meaning "involving different branches of a subject" is from 1670s. Related: Comparatively.