[kuh m-par-uh-ter, kom-puh-rey-]


any of various instruments for making comparisons, as of lengths or distances, tints of colors, etc.
Electronics. a circuit for comparing two signals, as readings of duplicate information stored in a digital computer, and for giving an indication of agreement or disagreement between them.

Origin of comparator

First recorded in 1880–85, comparator is from the Late Latin word comparātor a comparer. See compare, -tor Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for comparator

Historical Examples of comparator

  • The most important of these “tricks” is the use of a “standard” or “comparator”.

  • The lieutenant put the retinal photos in the comparator, took a good look, and nodded.

    Unwise Child

    Gordon Randall Garrett

  • Put the sample and comparator together into a reactor and bombard them with neutrons.

  • In the comparator Vickers brought the corresponding standard comparison lines together.

British Dictionary definitions for comparator



any instrument used to measure a property of a system by comparing it with a standard system
an electric circuit that compares two signals and gives an indication of the extent of their dissimilarity
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for comparator

1883, agent noun in Latin form from compare.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper