comparative

adjective
com·​par·​a·​tive | \kəm-ˈper-ə-tiv, -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

almost, approximate, near, relative

Antonyms: Adjective

absolute, complete, downright, out-and-out, outright, perfect, pure, unqualified

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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

Neuebauer's comparative study of the brothers gives Wardle the opportunity to contrast them himself. J.r. Jones, Chicago Reader, "Triplets ripped from family in a Nazi-like experiment, probed in Three Identical Strangers," 5 July 2018 What does the author’s comparative history of these three yield? Mark G. Spencer, WSJ, "‘Apostles of Revolution’ Review: The Birthday of a New World," 2 July 2018 Its production line seemed to be endless, despite a comparative lack of investment, players emerging from the barrios of Buenos Aires to take on the world. Rory Smith, New York Times, "How Argentina Lost Its Way. (Spoiler: It’s Not Messi’s Fault.)," 22 June 2018 Much of the inertia in fixing the problem is the result of the comparative lack of harm posed to the memcached servers. Dan Goodin, Ars Technica, "It just got much easier to wage record-breaking DDoSes," 7 Mar. 2018 Together, these data would give consumers real comparative shopping power. Steve Cohen, WSJ, "You Can’t Put a Price on a Hip Replacement, and That’s a Problem," 13 July 2018 And thanks to the field of comparative oncology, the pipeline runs both ways – insights from canine cancer patients are informing human treatments. Jessica Alice Farrell, Smithsonian, "Should We Share Human Cancer Treatments With Tumorous Turtles?," 11 July 2018 The idea is that, as Stitch Fix evolves and more comparative data points become available, the algorithm will only get stronger. Cam Wolf, GQ, "Stitch Fix Thinks It Can Hack Your Style," 29 May 2018 One group — comprised of comparative politics scholars, liberal pundits, and NeverTrump conservatives — have their eyes fixed on Donald Trump. Eric Levitz, Daily Intelligencer, "America’s Version of Capitalism Is Incompatible With Democracy," 23 May 2018

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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Statistics for comparative

Last Updated

27 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for comparative

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

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More Definitions for comparative

comparative

adjective

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 \

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 \

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 \

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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