Dictionary > English Dictionary > Definition, synonym and antonym of compare
Meaning of compare by Wiktionary Dictionary



    • IPA: /kəmˈpɛɹ/


    Latin comparare to prepare, procure; com- + parare. See prepare, parade .


    compare ( third-person singular simple present compares present participle comparing, simple past and past participle compared )

    1. ( transitive ) To assess the similarities and differences between two or more things ["to compare X with Y"]. Having made the comparison of X with Y, one might have found it similar to Y or different from Y .
      Compare the tiger's coloration with that of the zebra .
      You can't compare my problems and yours .
    2. ( transitive ) To declare two things to be similar in some respect ["to compare X to Y"] .
      Astronomers have compared comets to dirty snowballs
    3. ( transitive, grammar ) To form the three degrees of comparison of ( an adjective ) .
      We compare good as good, better, best
    4. ( intransitive ) To be similar ( often used in the negative ) .
      A sapling and a fully-grown oak tree do not compare .
    5. ( obsolete ) To get; to obtain.

    See also

    • contrast

Explanation of compare by Wordnet Dictionary


    1. examine and note the similarities or differences of

    2. John compared his haircut to his friend's
      We compared notes after we had both seen the movie
    3. consider or describe as similar, equal, or analogous

    4. We can compare the Han dynasty to the Romans
    5. to form the comparative or superlative form on an adjective or adverb

    6. be comparable

    7. This car does not compare with our line of Mercedes
    1. qualities that are comparable

    2. beyond compare

    Definition of compare by GCIDE Dictionary


    1. Compare v. t. [imp. & p. p. Compared ; p. pr. & vb. n. Comparing.] [L.comparare, fr. compar like or equal to another; com- + par equal: cf. F. comparer. See Pair, Peer an equal, and cf. Compeer.]
      1. To examine the character or qualities of, as of two or more persons or things, for the purpose of discovering their resemblances or differences; to bring into comparison; to regard with discriminating attention.

      Compare dead happiness with living woe. Shak.

      The place he found beyond expression bright,

      Compared with aught on earth. Milton.

      Compare our faces and be judge yourself. Shak.

      To compare great things with small. Milton.

      2. To represent as similar, for the purpose of illustration; to liken.

      Solon compared the people unto the sea, and orators and counselors to the winds; for that the sea would be calm and quiet if the winds did not trouble it. Bacon.

      3. ( Gram. ) To inflect according to the degrees of comparison; to state positive, comparative, and superlative forms of; as, most adjectives of one syllable are compared by affixing “- er” and “-est” to the positive form; as, “black, blacker, blackest”; those of more than one syllable are usually compared by prefixing “more” and “most”, or “less” and “least”, to the positive; as, “beautiful, more beautiful, most beautiful”.

      Syn. -- To Compare, Compare with, Compare to. Things are compared with each other in order to learn their relative value or excellence. Thus we compare Cicero with Demosthenes, for the sake of deciding which was the greater orator. One thing is compared to another because of a real or fanciful likeness or similarity which exists between them. Thus it has been common to compare the eloquence of Demosthenes to a thunderbolt, on account of its force, and the eloquence of Cicero to a conflagration, on account of its splendor. Burke compares the parks of London to the lungs of the human body.

    2. Compare v. i.
      1. To be like or equal; to admit, or be worthy of, comparison; as, “his later work does not compare with his earlier”.

      I should compare with him in excellence. Shak.

      2. To vie; to assume a likeness or equality.

      Shall pack horses . . . compare with Cæsars? Shak.

    3. Compare, n.
      1. Comparison. [Archaic]

      His mighty champion, strong beyond compare. Milton.

      Their small galleys may not hold compare

      With our tall ships. Waller.

      2. Illustration by comparison; simile. [Obs.]

      Rhymes full of protest, of oath, and big compare. Shak.

      Beyond compare. See Beyond comparison, under Comparison.

    4. Compare, v. t. [L. comparare to prepare, procure; com- + parare. See Prepare, Parade.] To get; to procure; to obtain; to acquire [Obs.]

      To fill his bags, and richesse to compare. Spenser.