compare

verb
com·​pare | \ kəm-ˈper \
compared; comparing

Definition of compare 

(Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to represent as similar : liken Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?— William Shakespeare
2a : 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.

compare

noun

Definition of compare (Entry 2 of 2)

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

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms & Antonyms for compare

Synonyms: Verb

analogize, assimilate, bracket, equate, liken

Antonyms: Verb

contrast

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Choose the Right Synonym for compare

Verb

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

Verb

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.

Examples of compare in a Sentence

Verb

The singer's voice has been compared to that of Elvis. We each did the homework assignment, then compared answers. I compared several bicycles before buying one.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

In the world of comic films, the X-Men have always been slightly more competent at making something worth watching, especially when compared to DC films. Darren Orf, Popular Mechanics, "The 2019 Sci-Fi Film Guide," 3 Jan. 2019 MmWave comes with significantly limiting trade-offs, though, like worse penetration, smaller range, and more susceptibility to weather when compared to LTE. Ron Amadeo, Ars Technica, "AT&T 5G goes live this week with ridiculously overpowered hotspot," 20 Dec. 2018 Earlier this year, a Wall Street Journal investigation found McKinsey has disclosed far fewer potential conflicts of interest when compared with other bankruptcy professionals. Tom Corrigan, WSJ, "McKinsey Advised GenOn Energy About Bankruptcy Case While Having Interest in Outcome," 20 Dec. 2018 In fact, research supports the safety and efficacy of ginger during pregnancy, with some improvement in symptoms when compared to a placebo. Jaclyn London, Ms, Rd, Cdn, Good Housekeeping, "8 Surprising Health Benefits of Ginger You Need to Know About," 19 Nov. 2018 The homeowner acknowledges that, when compared to the long life of the house, his presence there will be brief. Samantha Weiss Hills, Curbed, "5 Victorian homes to get you in the mood for fall," 1 Oct. 2018 Teenage girls, however, face unique risks compared to older women. Mélissa Godin, Teen Vogue, "Climate Change Is Creating a New Atmosphere of Gender Inequality for Women in Malawi," 20 Dec. 2018 Although SoundMagic has produced some great headphones in the past, switching from an analogue headphone jack to a digital USB-C port could have a huge impact on how the headphones sound compared to their 3.5mm equivalents. Jon Porter, The Verge, "SoundMagic adds USB-C to its budget earbuds," 20 Dec. 2018 Thus, the collective behavior required to generate an apparent frictionless flow is not as strong in the experiments with helium-3 compared to experiments with a single proton. Chris Lee, Ars Technica, "Quark-gluon plasma reveals viscosity-free properties," 19 Dec. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

How does this compare to the country's fires in the past? Katherine Lagrave, Condé Nast Traveler, "Wildfires in Greece Kill Dozens Near Athens," 25 July 2018 But how does the sentimental, personal announcement of their first pregnancy compare to that of Kate Middleton and Prince William, Princess Diana and Prince Charles, or even Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip? Lucy Wood, Marie Claire, "How Meghan Markle's Pregnancy Announcement Compares to Kate Middleton and Princess Diana," 15 Oct. 2018 But this card's earning potential compares favorably to the best travel credit cards out there, like the Chase Sapphire Reserve and the American Express Platinum Card. Ryan Craggs, Condé Nast Traveler, "The New SPG Luxury Credit Card Is Suddenly One of the Best Travel Credit Cards," 14 Sep. 2018 Prime is important to Amazon because Prime members shop more frequently, spend more per year and price-compare less than Amazon customers who aren’t Prime members. Jason Del Rey, Recode, "Prime Day is more than a gimmick, it’s the single biggest event to expand Amazon’s defensive moat," 16 July 2018 The fallout from that privacy scandal has been enormous – but how does Google's breach compare? CBS News, "Google reportedly allows apps to scan some people's Gmail inboxes," 3 July 2018 That total compares with only nine for Obama at the same point in his first term. Brooks Jackson, Philly.com, "Trump's Numbers (Second Quarterly Update) | FactCheck," 11 July 2018 John Wayne Airport had 893,668 passengers in April, an increase of 42,499 compare to last year. Anthony Clark Carpio, latimes.com, "Hollywood Burbank Airport reports another increase in passenger numbers," 6 June 2018 Marie Claire: How does season two compare to season one? Rachel Epstein, Marie Claire, "Karamo Brown on 'Queer Eye' Season Two, the Fab Five, and Crying with Strangers in Restaurants," 4 June 2018

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.

See More

First Known Use of compare

Verb

14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

Noun

1589, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for compare

Verb and Noun

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about compare

Statistics for compare

Last Updated

10 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for compare

The first known use of compare was in the 14th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for compare

compare

verb

English Language Learners Definition of compare

: 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

verb
com·​pare | \ kəm-ˈper \
compared; comparing

Kids Definition of compare

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

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on compare

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with compare

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for compare

Spanish Central: Translation of compare

Nglish: Translation of compare for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of compare for Arabic Speakers

Comments on compare

What made you want to look up compare? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

a person who helps groups work together

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Liar, Liar Quiz

  • alt-5761dbe2ba986
  • Someone who pretends to be sick in order to avoid work is a:
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!