View synonyms for compare


[ kuhm-pair ]

verb (used with object)

, com·pared, com·par·ing.
  1. to examine (two or more objects, ideas, people, etc.) in order to note similarities and differences:

    If you compare these three pieces of cloth, you'll see they're all similar in weight.

    It's difficult to directly compare the governments of two very different nations.

  2. to consider or describe as similar; liken:

    “Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?”

  3. Grammar. to form or display the degrees of comparison of (an adjective or adverb).

verb (used without object)

, com·pared, com·par·ing.
  1. to be worthy of comparison; be held equal:

    Dekker's plays cannot compare with Shakespeare's.

  2. to appear in a similar standing:

    His recital certainly compares with the one he gave last year.

  3. to differ in quality or accomplishment as specified:

    Their development compares poorly with that of neighbor nations.

  4. to vie; rival:

    Can we all agree that most people want fair treatment and to compare favorably with others?

  5. to make a comparison:

    The only way we can say which product is better is to compare.


  1. Her beauty is beyond compare.


/ kəmˈpɛə /


  1. trusually foll byto to regard or represent as analogous or similar; liken

    the general has been compared to Napoleon

  2. trusually foll bywith to examine in order to observe resemblances or differences

    to compare rum with gin

  3. intrusually foll bywith to be of the same or similar quality or value

    gin compares with rum in alcoholic content

  4. intr to bear a specified relation of quality or value when examined

    this car compares badly with the other

  5. intrusually foll bywith to correspond to

    profits were £3.2 million. This compares with £2.6 million last year

  6. tr grammar to give the positive, comparative, and superlative forms of (an adjective)
  7. archaic.
    intr to compete or vie
  8. compare notes
    to exchange opinions
“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


  1. comparison or analogy (esp in the phrase beyond compare )
“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
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Usage Note

The traditional rule about which preposition to use after compare states that compare should be followed by to when it points out likenesses or similarities between two apparently dissimilar persons or things: She compared his handwriting to knotted string. Compare should be followed by with, the rule says, when it points out similarities or differences between two entities of the same general class: The critic compared the paintings in the exhibit with magazine photographs. This rule is by no means always observed, however, even in formal speech and writing. The usual practice is to employ to for likenesses between members of different classes: A language may be compared to a living organism. But when the comparison is between members of the same category, both to and with are used: The article compares the Chicago of today with (or to ) the Chicago of the 1890s. Following the past participle compared, either to or with is used regardless of whether differences or similarities are stressed or whether the things compared belong to the same or different classes: Compared with (or to ) the streets of 18th-century London, New York's streets are models of cleanliness and order.
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Derived Forms

  • comˈparer, noun
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Other Words From

  • com·par·er noun
  • in·ter·com·pare verb (used with object) intercompared intercomparing
  • pre·com·pare verb (used with object) precompared precomparing
  • re·com·pare verb (used with object) recompared recomparing
  • un·com·pared adjective
  • well-com·pared adjective
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Word History and Origins

Origin of compare1

First recorded in 1375–1425; late Middle English comparen, from Latin comparāre “to place together, match,” verb derivative of compar “alike, matching” ( com-, par 1 ); replacing Middle English comperen, from Old French comperer, from Latin
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Word History and Origins

Origin of compare1

C15: from Old French comparer, from Latin comparāre to couple together, match, from compar equal to one another, from com- together + par equal; see par
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Idioms and Phrases

  1. compare apples and / with / to oranges, to compare things that are fundamentally different from each other, usually used to suggest that the things cannot or should not be directly compared:

    Comparing per pupil costs in public schools to tuition costs in private schools is comparing apples and oranges.

  2. compare apples to / with / and apples, to compare things that are similar to each other in a basic or fundamental way:

    Let’s compare apples to apples and look at the Professional package versus the Plus package.

  3. compared to / with, considered in relation to; contrasted with:

    The report investigated whether electric buses were cost-effective compared to traditional diesel buses.

    Compared with other video editing software, our program offers many more features.

  4. compare and contrast. compare and contrast.
  5. compare notes. note ( def 32 ).

More idioms and phrases containing compare

In addition to the idiom beginning with compare , also see beyond compare .
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Example Sentences

The post Community Power Leaders Steaming About SDG&E Price Cut Right Before Consumers Compare Rates appeared first on Voice of San Diego.

As well as investing, the platform allows customers to spend their cash via partnerships with impact-oriented compares, and offset their carbon footprint through a subscription.

Get rid of excess moisture and up the starch content for crispiness beyond compare.

Compare that to Guardians of the Galaxy which opened in Korea on July 31.

And compare, as noted up top, to Secretary Clinton, who spent years quietly pushing a modernized Cuba policy.

To compare, Lana Del Rey sold over 100,000 copies that same week.

You can even compare your results to the top golfers in the world.

Now compare that to what happened when Sarah Palin's emails were released.

Here he can inspect what he sees, say the reflection of the face of his mother or nurse, and compare it at once with the original.

Pentegot est une fort belle riviere, et peut 48 estre compare la Garonne de France.

A bull-fight is fearful enough, but it cannot compare with the struggle between a maddened buffalo and his pursuer.

In the Pedal department no reed or flue pipe can begin to compare with a Diaphone, either in attack or in volume of tone.

"And I can return the compliment," was my reply, as we all gathered round a brew of tea to exchange news and compare notes.


Definitions and idiom definitions from Unabridged, based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

Idioms from The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.




comparatorcompare and contrast