the act of comparing.
the state of being compared.
a likening; illustration by similitude; comparative estimate or statement.
Rhetoric. the considering of two things with regard to some characteristic that is common to both, as the likening of a hero to a lion in courage.
capability of being compared or likened.
  1. the function of an adverb or adjective that is used to indicate degrees of superiority or inferiority in quality, quantity, or intensity.
  2. the patterns of formation involved therein.
  3. the degrees of a particular word, displayed in a fixed order, as mild, milder, mildest, less mild, least mild.

Origin of comparison

1300–50; Middle English comparesoun < Old French comparaison < Latin comparātiōn- (stem of comparātiō). See compare, -ation
Related formsin·ter·com·par·i·son, nounpre·com·par·i·son, nounre·com·par·i·son, noun

Synonyms for comparison Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for comparison

Contemporary Examples of comparison

Historical Examples of comparison

  • As one result of this, our Navy ranks larger, in comparison, than it ever did before.

  • The old woman encouraged him, and said he was still a young man in comparison with her.

    Rico and Wiseli

    Johanna Spyri

  • That is nothing at all in comparison with Rico's wedding in the 'Golden Sun.'

    Rico and Wiseli

    Johanna Spyri

  • By comparison Crane's visits to Ringwood were utopianly complacent.


    W. A. Fraser

  • In comparison, the inconveniences to which Martin had been put seemed trifling.


    Mr. and Mrs. Haldeman-Julius

British Dictionary definitions for comparison



the act or process of comparing
the state of being compared
comparable quality or qualities; likenessthere was no comparison between them
a rhetorical device involving comparison, such as a simile
Also called: degrees of comparison grammar the listing of the positive, comparative, and superlative forms of an adjective or adverb
bear comparison or stand comparison to be sufficiently similar in class or range to be compared with (something else), esp favourably
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 comparison

mid-14c., from Old French comparaison (12c.), from Latin comparationem (nominative comparatio), noun of action from past participle stem of comparare "make equal with, liken, bring together for a contest," literally "to couple together, to form in pairs," from com- "with" (see com-) + parare "prepare" (see pare).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper