comparative

adjective
com·​par·​a·​tive | \ kəm-ˈper-ə-tiv How to pronounce comparative (audio) , -ˈpa-rə- \

Definition of comparative

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : of, relating to, or constituting the degree of comparison in a language that denotes increase in the quality, quantity, or relation expressed by an adjective or adverb The comparative form of happy is happier. The comparative form of clearly is more clearly.
2 : considered as if in comparison to something else as a standard not quite attained : relative a comparative stranger She's a comparative newcomer to the company.
3 : characterized by systematic comparison especially of likenesses and dissimilarities comparative anatomy a comparative analysis of the roles of women in different cultures

comparative

noun

Definition of comparative (Entry 2 of 2)

1a : one that compares with another especially on equal footing : rival
b : one that makes witty or mocking comparisons
2 : the comparative degree or form in a language The comparative of tall is taller.

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Other Words from comparative

Adjective

comparatively adverb
comparativeness noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for comparative

Synonyms: Adjective

Antonyms: Adjective

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Examples of comparative in a Sentence

Adjective She did a comparative study of classical and modern art. I'm taking a class in comparative anatomy. a comparative analysis of the roles of women in different cultures The comparative form of “happy” is “happier”; the comparative form of “good” is “better”; the comparative form of “clearly” is “more clearly.” Noun “Taller” is the comparative of “tall.”
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Biden’s foreign-policy experience and comparative hawkishness reinforce support from moderate voters, and Sanders’s long record of dovishness helps him among more progressive voters. Jonah Goldberg, National Review, "The Democrats Have Had This Primary Before," 15 Jan. 2020 Jodi Flaws, a coauthor of the paper and professor of comparative biosciences at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, said in an interview with Living on Earth. Popular Science, "Period underwear may contain troubling chemicals—but the real problem is much bigger," 15 Jan. 2020 Another major takeaway from the weekend’s games — and one that was increasingly noticeable during the regular season — was the comparative speed of teams such as the Chiefs, Ravens, and even the Titans compared with the Patriots. Chad Finn, BostonGlobe.com, "What can the Patriots learn from the divisional round games?," 13 Jan. 2020 In 2017, the most recent year for which comparative data exist, 108 women were killed in such circumstances in France, up from 92 two years previously. The Economist, "Big demonstrations in Paris over the murder of women," 28 Nov. 2019 Buffett's latest annual letter to shareholders, which came out in February 2019, starts with a comparative table of Berkshire Hathaway and S&P 500 performance since 1965. Erik Sherman, Fortune, "Warren Buffett Is Lagging the S&P 500 for 2019—But Here’s How Much He’s Up For the Decade," 19 Nov. 2019 While those independent prosecutors launched the investigations of Presidents Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton, there is no comparative figure in the House impeachment inquiry. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Schiff, a longtime prosecutor, angers GOP in impeachment," 18 Oct. 2019 Alexander earned a doctorate in higher education administration from the University of Wisconsin-Madison after completing a master’s in education studies and comparative education policy at the University of Oxford in England. oregonlive, "Oregon State President Ed Ray will be succeeded by Louisiana State’s F. King Alexander," 13 Dec. 2019 Recent examples of it include the comparative effectiveness of feeding interventions in a pediatric intensive care unit and the effectiveness of different types of drug-eluting coronary artery stents. Sherri Rose, STAT, "Machine learning for clinical decision-making: pay attention to what you don’t see," 12 Dec. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Why this matters: Reports from an independent testing organization like AV-Comparatives are important for the average PC user. Ian Paul, PCWorld, "AV-Comparatives' anti-phishing results for 2017 put Avast, Bitdefender, Fortinet, and Kaspersky on top," 1 Aug. 2017 Other poll comparatives from March fell like dominoes. David Paleologos, USA TODAY, "Paleologos on the poll: Replacing Obamacare is a sensitive 'Operation'," 29 June 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'comparative.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of comparative

Adjective

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for comparative

Adjective

see compare entry 1

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Time Traveler for comparative

Time Traveler

The first known use of comparative was in the 15th century

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Statistics for comparative

Last Updated

20 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Comparative.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/comparative. Accessed 23 January 2020.

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More Definitions for comparative

comparative

adjective
How to pronounce comparative (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of comparative

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: seeming to be something when compared with others
: involving the act of looking at the ways that things are alike or different
grammar : of or relating to the form of an adjective or adverb that is used to indicate more of a particular quality

comparative

noun

English Language Learners Definition of comparative (Entry 2 of 2)

: the comparative form of an adjective or adverb : the form of an adjective or adverb that is used to indicate more of a particular quality

comparative

adjective
com·​par·​a·​tive | \ kəm-ˈper-ə-tiv How to pronounce comparative (audio) \

Kids Definition of comparative

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : not entirely but more so than others : relative We live in comparative freedom.
2 : of or relating to the form of an adjective or adverb that shows an increase in the quality that the adjective or adverb expresses “Taller” is the comparative form of “tall.”

Other Words from comparative

comparatively adverb It was a comparatively easy hike.

comparative

noun

Kids Definition of comparative (Entry 2 of 2)

: the degree or form in a language that indicates an increase in the quality expressed by an adjective or adverb “Taller” is the comparative of “tall.”

comparative

adjective
com·​par·​a·​tive | \ kəm-ˈpar-ət-iv How to pronounce comparative (audio) \

Medical Definition of comparative

: characterized by the systematic comparison of phenomena and especially of likenesses and dissimilarities comparative anatomy the study of blood types by comparative analysis

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comparative

adjective
com·​par·​a·​tive | \ kəm-ˈpar-ə-tiv How to pronounce comparative (audio) \

Legal Definition of comparative

: characterized by systematic comparison comparative contribution, which apportions according to…respective fault— W. L. Prosser and W. P. Keeton

Other Words from comparative

comparatively adverb

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Comments on comparative

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