comparative

1 of 2

adjective

com·​par·​a·​tive kəm-ˈper-ə-tiv How to pronounce comparative (audio)
-ˈpa-rə-
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
comparatively adverb
comparativeness noun

comparative

2 of 2

noun

1
a
: 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.

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.”
Recent Examples on the Web
Adjective
Three candidates are hardliners and one is a low-profile comparative moderate, backed by the reformist faction that has largely been sidelined in Iran in recent years. Fox News, 28 June 2024 The Biden campaign announced that their total cash-on-hand including joint fundraising committees is $212 million, but the Trump campaign has yet to voluntarily announce a comparative number -- which will be released next month. Soo Rin Kim, ABC News, 21 June 2024
Noun
Alstom said Tuesday that first-quarter sales grew while orders fell against a strong prior-year comparative. Pierre Bertrand, WSJ, 25 July 2023 Also known as comparatives, web weaving is a genre of Tumblr post that juxtaposes excerpts and images around a central theme. Vivian Lam, WIRED, 24 Feb. 2023 See all Example Sentences for comparative 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'comparative.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Adjective

see compare entry 1

First Known Use

Adjective

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun

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

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

Dictionary Entries Near comparative

Cite this Entry

“Comparative.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/comparative. Accessed 15 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition

comparative

1 of 2 adjective
com·​par·​a·​tive kəm-ˈpar-ət-iv How to pronounce comparative (audio)
1
: of, relating to, or constituting the degree of grammatical comparison that denotes increase in the quality, quantity, or relation expressed by an adjective or adverb
2
: measured by comparison : relative
a comparative stranger
3
: involving the study of things that are alike by comparing them
comparative anatomy
comparatively adverb

comparative

2 of 2 noun
: the comparative degree or a word form expressing it
"taller" is the comparative of "tall"

Medical Definition

comparative

adjective
com·​par·​a·​tive kəm-ˈpar-ət-iv How to pronounce comparative (audio)
: characterized by the systematic comparison of phenomena and especially of likenesses and dissimilarities
comparative anatomy
the study of blood types by comparative analysis

Legal Definition

comparative

adjective
com·​par·​a·​tive kəm-ˈpar-ə-tiv How to pronounce comparative (audio)
: characterized by systematic comparison
comparative contribution, which apportions according to…respective faultW. L. Prosser and W. P. Keeton
comparatively adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on comparative

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