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WordReference Random House Learner's Dictionary of American English © 2017
com•pare /kəmˈpɛr/USA pronunciation
v., -pared, -par•ing, n. v.
WordReference Random House Unabridged Dictionary of American English © 2017
- to examine (two or more things, etc.) to note similarities and differences: [~ + object]to compare two restaurants.[~ + object + with + object]The pictures were compared with those of known spies.[~ + object + to/with + object]Compare the Chicago of today to that of the 1920's.
- [~ + object + to/with + object] to consider or describe as similar;
liken: "Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?''
- [~ + with + object] to be worthy of comparison: Whose plays can compare with Shakespeare's?
- [~ + with + object] to be in similar standing;
be alike: No one can compare with you;
you're the best!
- [~ + with + object] to appear in quality, progress, etc., as specified: Their development compares poorly with that of neighboring nations.
- Grammar to give the forms for the comparison of (an adjective or adverb):[~ + object]Compare the adjectives good and tall to get the forms better and taller.
- comparison: a beauty beyond compare.
- compared with or to, [~ + with/to + object] in comparison or contrast with;
as opposed to:Compared with the rest of the world, the standard of living there is very high. Compared to the rest of the class, your grades are high.
- Idiomscompare notes, to exchange views:We compared notes on how our jobs were going.
compare is a verb, comparison is a noun, comparable is an adjective:Compare the two items to see which is cheaper. She made a comparison of the two items. The two items are of comparable price.
(kəm pâr′),USA pronunciation v., -pared, -par•ing, n. v.t.
- to examine (two or more objects, ideas, people, etc.) in order to note similarities and differences:to compare two pieces of cloth; to compare the governments of two nations.
- to consider or describe as similar;
liken:Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?
- Grammarto form or display the degrees of comparison of (an adjective or adverb).
- to be worthy of comparison;
be held equal:Dekker's plays cannot compare with Shakespeare's.
- to appear in a similar standing:His recital certainly compares with the one he gave last year.
- to differ in quality or accomplishment as specified:Their development compares poorly with that of neighbor nations.
- to vie;
- to make a comparison:The only way we can say which product is better is to compare.
- Idiomscompare notes. See note (def. 25).
- comparison:Her beauty is beyond compare.
- Old French comperer
- Latin comparāre to place together, match, verb, verbal derivative of compar alike, matching (see com-, par); replacing Middle English comperen
- late Middle English comparen 1375–1425
The traditional rule about which preposition to use after compare states that compare should be followed by to when it points out likenesses or similarities between two apparently dissimilar persons or things:She compared his handwriting to knotted string.Compare should be followed by with, the rule says, when it points out similarities or differences between two entities of the same general class:The critic compared the paintings in the exhibit with magazine photographs.This rule is by no means always observed, however, even in formal speech and writing. The usual practice is to employ to for likenesses between members of different classes:A language may be compared to a living organism.But when the comparison is between members of the same category, both to and with are used:The article compares the Chicago of today with(or to) the Chicago of the 1890s. Following the past participle compared, either to or with is used regardless of whether differences or similarities are stressed or whether the things compared belong to the same or different classes:Compared with(or to) the streets of 18th-century London, New York's streets are models of cleanliness and order.
Collins Concise English Dictionary © HarperCollins Publishers::
compare /kəmˈpɛə/ vb
- (transitive) usually followed by to: to regard or represent as analogous or similar; liken: the general has been compared to Napoleon
- (transitive) usually followed by with: to examine in order to observe resemblances or differences: to compare rum with gin
- (intransitive) usually followed by with: to be of the same or similar quality or value: gin compares with rum in alcoholic content
- (intransitive) to bear a specified relation of quality or value when examined: this car compares badly with the other
- (transitive) to give the positive, comparative, and superlative forms of (an adjective)
- compare notes ⇒ to exchange opinions
Etymology: 15th Century: from Old French comparer, from Latin comparāre to couple together, match, from compar equal to one another, from com- together + par equal; see par
- comparison or analogy (esp in the phrase beyond compare)
'compare to' also found in these entries: