[ kuhm-par-uh-ter, kom-puh-rey- ]
/ kəmˈpær ə tər, ˈkɒm pəˌreɪ- /
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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.



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“Was” is used for the indicative past tense of “to be,” and “were” is only used for the subjunctive past tense.

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Origin of comparator

First recorded in 1880–85; from Late Latin comparātor “a comparer”; see compare, -tor
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

Example sentences from the Web for comparator

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

    The Atomic Fingerprint|Bernard Keisch
  • 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.

    The Atomic Fingerprint|Bernard Keisch
  • In the comparator Vickers brought the corresponding standard comparison lines together.

British Dictionary definitions for comparator

/ (kəmˈpærətə) /


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