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 Medical providers in Minnesota are burning through weekly COVID-19 vaccine shipments and seeking more, despite comparative statistics suggesting that the state has too many doses sitting unused. Jeremy Olson, Star Tribune, "Minnesota's COVID-19 vaccine providers defend performance," 16 Jan. 2021 This image has popped up in other comparative contexts, but this is by far the most visible this photo has ever been. Lisa Larson-walker, ProPublica, "She Photographed Police Abuse at a 2014 BLM March Then Watched the Image Go Viral During Capitol Riot," 11 Jan. 2021 Toward the end of the year, this comparative meme began dominating social media as a way to show how far someone had come in regard to a career or a relationship, even during the pandemic. NBC News, "Dancing pallbearers, the Mike Pence fly and pretty best friends: Here are the top memes of 2020," 27 Dec. 2020 Sandel makes this point himself, asking the reader to weigh the comparative contribution to society of the multibillionaire casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, on the one hand, and that of a nurse or doctor on the other. Win Mccormack, The New Republic, "Meritocracy on Trial," 23 Dec. 2020 Most such efforts fail due to the comparative advantage of open-source standards. William Levin, National Review, "Why Are Tech Stocks at Record Highs?," 11 Dec. 2020 At Harvard, the 21-year-old has studied comparative literature between Yiddish and Iñupiaq works. Jenna Kunze, Anchorage Daily News, "Former Noorvik student selected as Rhodes Scholar credits ‘the village that lifted me up’," 5 Dec. 2020 Five miles across turbulent seas is the island of Lewis, which offers supplies, boat repairs and the comparative human comforts of a pub, notwithstanding the attitude of some who retain an ambivalence toward English lairds. Annalena Mcafee, WSJ, "Five Best: Memoirs of the Scottish Highlands," 18 Dec. 2020 And while the partisan and ethnic tensions have since simmered down in recent weeks, international observers worry that the comparative calm comes at the expense of Ivory Coast's already-fragile democracy. Scott Mclean And Florence Davey-attlee, CNN, "His rivals have been arrested or exiled, but Ivorian President insists: 'They're not democrats'," 14 Dec. 2020 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

24 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Comparative.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/comparative. Accessed 26 Jan. 2021.

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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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