verb com·pare \kəm-ˈper\

: to say that (something) is similar to something else

: to look at (two or more things) closely in order to see what is similar or different about them or in order to decide which one is better

: to be as good or as bad as something else : to be on the same level or in the same category as something else


Full Definition of COMPARE

transitive verb
:  to represent as similar :  liken <shall I compare thee to a summer's day? — Shakespeare>
a :  to examine the character or qualities of especially in order to discover resemblances or differences <compare your responses with the answers>
b :  to view in relation to <tall compared to me> <easy compared with the last test>
:  to inflect or modify (an adjective or adverb) according to the degrees of comparison
intransitive verb
:  to bear being compared <the two don't even begin to compare>
:  to make comparisons
:  to be equal or alike <nothing compares to you>

Examples of COMPARE

  1. The singer's voice has been compared to that of Elvis.
  2. We each did the homework assignment, then compared answers.
  3. I compared several bicycles before buying one.

Origin of COMPARE

Middle English, from Anglo-French comparer, from Latin comparare to couple, compare, from compar like, from com- + par equal
First Known Use: 14th century

Synonym Discussion of COMPARE

compare, contrast, collate mean to set side by side in order to show differences and likenesses. compare implies an aim of showing relative values or excellences by bringing out characteristic qualities whether similar or divergent <compared the convention facilities of the two cities>. contrast implies an emphasis on differences <contrasted the computerized system with the old filing cards>. collate implies minute and critical inspection in order to note points of agreement or divergence <data from districts around the country will be collated>.



Definition of COMPARE

:  the possibility of comparing <beauty beyond compare>; also :  something with which to be compared <a city without compare>

First Known Use of COMPARE

COMPARES Defined for Kids


verb com·pare \kəm-ˈper\

Definition of COMPARE for Kids

:  to point out as similar :  liken <She compared the activity of ants to the behavior of humans.>
:  to examine for similarity or differences <Before buying compare the two bicycles.>
:  to appear in relation to others <She compares well with the rest of the class.>
:  to state the positive, comparative, and superlative forms of an adjective or adverb

Synonym Discussion of COMPARE

compare and contrast mean to look closely at something in order to show likenesses and differences. compare is used for showing the likenesses between two or more things. <Compare these sofas for size and comfort.> contrast is used for showing the differences and especially the characteristics which are opposite. <She finds it easy to contrast country and city life.>


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