com·​par·​i·​son | \ kəm-ˈper-ə-sən How to pronounce comparison (audio) , -ˈpa-rə- \

Definition of comparison

1 : the act or process of comparing: such as
a : the representing of one thing or person as similar to or like another His poetry invites comparison with the poems of Robert Frost.
b : an examination of two or more items to establish similarities and dissimilarities His faults seem minor by comparison. a comparison of the sports cars
2 : identity of features : similarity several points of comparison between the two
3 : the modification of an adjective or adverb to denote different levels of quality, quantity, or relation

Examples of comparison in a Sentence

a comparison of the data from the two studies the comparison of monkeys to humans I don't think comparisons of her situation and mine are appropriate.
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Recent Examples on the Web In this comparison, the product purchases at Target are the equivalent of symptoms reported to the Covid Symptom Tracker. Kaiser Fung, Wired, "Beware the Lofty Promises of Covid-19 ‘Tracker’ Apps," 13 May 2020 By way of comparison, during 2009 , the first year of the Great Recession, RTA saw a 10.9 percent reduction in sales tax, or a little more than $17 million. Peter Krouse, cleveland, "Greater Cleveland RTA expecting huge reductions in fare collections and sales tax revenue," 12 May 2020 By comparison, S&P Global Ratings last week forecast that Qatar will record a shortfall averaging about 5% of gross domestic product during 2020-2023. Abeer Abu Omar,, "IMF Keeps Faith That a Global Fiscal Outlier Can Beat Odds," 10 May 2020 In comparison, only three countries — Russia, Germany and Italy — had conducted more than 9.7 million tests, according to Our World in Data and Worldometers. Linda Qiu, New York Times, "Criticized on Virus, Trump Goes to His Playbook: Deflect, Reject and Minimize," 7 May 2020 By comparison, those numbers were 4,020 and 144 in San Diego County, and 2,819 and 57 in Orange County, respectively. Luke Money, Los Angeles Times, "Ventura County Fair becomes the latest summer event canceled due to coronavirus," 5 May 2020 Experts have warned against international comparisons, citing differences in demographics and different ways of measuring the number of deaths. Fox News, "UK coronavirus death toll appears to overtake Italy to become hardest-hit country in Europe," 5 May 2020 Los Angeles County, by comparison, with a population of 10 million, reached April peaks of 1,962 hospitalizations and 625 ICU cases, according to the CDPH. Matt Kawahara,, "‘Very encouraging’: Bay Area coronavirus hospitalizations decline, reflecting commitment to shelter in place," 4 May 2020 For comparison, about 8,000 Americans die every day from, almost overwhelmingly, diseases and other natural causes. Sharon Begley, STAT, "Projecting Covid-19 death tolls is as difficult as ever. Comparing them to other causes of death is easier — and staggering," 30 Apr. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'comparison.' 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 comparison

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for comparison

Middle English, from Anglo-French comparison, from Latin comparation-, comparatio, from comparare — see compare entry 1

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Time Traveler for comparison

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for comparison

Last Updated

17 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Comparison.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Jun. 2020.

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How to pronounce comparison (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of comparison

: the act of looking at things to see how they are similar or different
: the act of suggesting that two or more things are similar or in the same category


com·​par·​i·​son | \ kəm-ˈper-ə-sən How to pronounce comparison (audio) \

Kids Definition of comparison

1 : the act of examining things to see if they are similar or different : the condition of being examined to find similarity or difference
2 : similarity There's no comparison between the two models.
3 : change in the form and meaning of an adjective or an adverb (as by adding -er or -est to the word or by adding more or most before the word) to show different levels of quality, quantity, or relation

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