1

compare

verb com·pare \ kəm-ˈper \
Updated on: 18 Nov 2017

Definition of compare

compared; comparing
transitive verb
1 :to represent as similar :liken
  • Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?
  • —William Shakespeare
2 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
  • He is tall compared to me.
  • The test was easy compared with the last one.
3 :to inflect or modify (an adjective or adverb) according to the degrees of comparison :state the positive, comparative, and superlative forms of
intransitive verb
1 :to bear being compared
  • The two don't even begin to compare.
  • We bought two different brands of peanut butter to see how they compare.
2 :to make comparisons
  • If we now go to Italy at all, we go not to learn, but to compare.
  • —Norman Douglas
3 :to be equal or alike
  • Nothing compares to you.

Examples of compare in a Sentence

  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.

Recent Examples of compare from the Web

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

Origin and Etymology of compare

Middle English, from Anglo-French comparer, from Latin comparare to couple, compare, from compar like, from com- + par equal

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

2

compare

noun

Definition of compare

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

Recent Examples of compare from the Web

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

Origin and Etymology of compare



COMPARE Defined for English Language Learners

compare

verb

Definition of compare for English Language Learners

  • : 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


COMPARE Defined for Kids

compare

verb com·pare \ kəm-ˈper \

Definition of compare for Students

compared; comparing
1 :to point out as similar :liken
  • She compared the activity of ants to the behavior of humans.
2 :to examine for similarity or differences
  • Before buying compare the two bicycles.
3 :to appear in relation to others
  • She compares well with the rest of the class.
4 :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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