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From Middle English comparisoun, from Old French comparison, from Latin comparātiō, from comparātus, perfect passive participle of comparō.



comparison (countable and uncountable, plural comparisons)

  1. The act of comparing or the state or process of being compared.
    to bring a thing into comparison with another;  there is no comparison between them
    • 2013 July 20, “Old soldiers?”, in The Economist, volume 408, number 8845:
      Whether modern, industrial man is less or more warlike than his hunter-gatherer ancestors is impossible to determine. The machine gun is so much more lethal than the bow and arrow that comparisons are meaningless.
  2. An evaluation of the similarities and differences of one or more things relative to some other or each other.
    He made a careful comparison of the available products before buying anything.
    • 1841, Thomas Macaulay, Warren Hastings:
      As sharp legal practitioners, no class of human beings can bear a comparison with them.
    • 1850, Richard Chenevix Trench, Notes on the Miracles of Our Lord:
      The miracles of our Lord and those of the Old Testament afford many interesting points of comparison.
    • 1909, Archibald Marshall [pseudonym; Arthur Hammond Marshall], chapter II, in The Squire’s Daughter, New York, N.Y.: Dodd, Mead and Company, published 1919, →OCLC:
      "I don't want to spoil any comparison you are going to make," said Jim, "but I was at Winchester and New College." ¶ "That will do," said Mackenzie. "I was dragged up at the workhouse school till I was twelve. []"
  3. With a negation, the state of being similar or alike.
    There really is no comparison between the performance of today's computers and those of a decade ago.
  4. (grammar) A feature in the morphology or syntax of some languages whereby adjectives and adverbs are inflected to indicate the relative degree of the property they define exhibited by the word or phrase they modify or describe.
    In English, adjectives and adverbs have three forms when making a comparison: the plain form "hot", the comparative form "hotter", and the superlative form "hottest".
  5. That to which, or with which, a thing is compared, as being equal or like; illustration; similitude.
  6. (rhetoric) A simile.
  7. (phrenology) The faculty of the reflective group which is supposed to perceive resemblances and contrasts.


Derived terms[edit]

Related terms[edit]


The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.


Old French[edit]


Borrowed from Latin comparātiō.[1]


comparison oblique singularf (oblique plural comparisons, nominative singular comparison, nominative plural comparisons)

  1. comparison (instance of comparing two or more things)


  • English: comparison
  • French: comparaison
  • Norman: compathaison


  1. ^ Etymology and history of comparaison”, in Trésor de la langue française informatisé [Digitized Treasury of the French Language], 2012.