What does comparative mean?

Definitions for comparative
kəmˈpær ə tɪvcom·par·a·tive

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word comparative.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. comparative, comparative degreeadjective

    the comparative form of an adjective or adverb

    "`faster' is the comparative of the adjective `fast'"; "`less famous' is the comparative degree of the adjective `famous'"; "`more surely' is the comparative of the adverb `surely'"

  2. comparativeadjective

    relating to or based on or involving comparison

    "comparative linguistics"

  3. relative, comparativeadjective

    estimated by comparison; not absolute or complete

    "a relative stranger"


  1. comparativenoun

    A construction showing a relative quality, in English usually formed by adding more or appending -er. For example, the comparative of green is greener; of evil, more evil.

  2. comparativenoun

    A word in the comparative form.

  3. comparativeadjective

    Of or relating to comparison.

  4. comparativeadjective

    Using comparison as a method of study, or founded on something using it.

  5. comparativeadjective

    Approximated by comparison; relative.

  6. comparativeadjective

    Comparable; bearing comparison.

  7. Etymology: Originated 1400–50 from late comparative, from comparativus, equivalent to comparatus, from comparare + -ive, from -ivus.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. Comparativeadjective

    Etymology: comparativus, Latin.

    Thou wert dignified enough,
    Ev’n to the point of envy, if ’twere made Comparative for your virtues, to be stiled
    The under hangman of his realm. William Shakespeare, Cymbeline.

    There resteth the comparative that is, granted that it is either lawful or binding; yet whether other things be not to be preferred before the extirpation of heresies. Francis Bacon.

    The flower or blossom is a positive good; although the remove of it, to give place to the fruit, be a comparative good. Francis Bacon, Colours of Good and Evil.

    This bubble, by reason of its comparative levity to the fluid that incloses it, would necessarily ascend to the top. Richard Bentley.

    Beauty is not known by an eye or nose: it consists in a symmetry, and it is the comparative faculty which notes it. Joseph Glanvill, Scepsis Scientifica.


  1. Comparative

    In general linguistics, the comparative is a syntactic construction that serves to express a comparison between two (or more) entities or groups of entities in quality or degree - see also comparison (grammar) for an overview of comparison, as well as positive and superlative degrees of comparison. The syntax of comparative constructions is poorly understood due to the complexity of the data. In particular, the comparative frequently occurs with independent mechanisms of syntax such as coordination and forms of ellipsis (gapping, pseudogapping, null complement anaphora, stripping, verb phrase ellipsis). The interaction of the various mechanisms complicates the analysis.


  1. comparative

    Comparative refers to the act of measuring or assessing the similarities and/or differences between two or more things. It often involves a detailed analysis to make determinations or draw conclusions, used particularly in a variety of fields such as literature, economics, sociologies, and many others. Additionally, in the context of grammar, 'comparative' refers to the form of an adjective or adverb that is used to compare two things.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Comparativeadjective

    of or pertaining to comparison

  2. Comparativeadjective

    proceeding from, or by the method of, comparison; as, the comparative sciences; the comparative anatomy

  3. Comparativeadjective

    estimated by comparison; relative; not positive or absolute, as compared with another thing or state

  4. Comparativeadjective

    expressing a degree greater or less than the positive degree of the quality denoted by an adjective or adverb. The comparative degree is formed from the positive by the use of -er, more, or less; as, brighter, more bright, or less bright

  5. Comparativenoun

    the comparative degree of adjectives and adverbs; also, the form by which the comparative degree is expressed; as, stronger, wiser, weaker, more stormy, less windy, are all comparatives

  6. Comparativenoun

    an equal; a rival; a compeer

  7. Comparativenoun

    one who makes comparisons; one who affects wit

  8. Etymology: [L. comparativus: cf. F. comparatif.]


  1. Comparative

    In linguistics, the comparative is a syntactic construction that serves to express a comparison between two entities or groups of entities in quality, quantity, or degree; it is one of the degrees of comparison, alongside the positive and the superlative. The comparative is signaled in English by the suffix -er or by a word of comparison and the conjunction- or preposition-like word as or than. The comparative is frequently associated with adjectives and adverbs because these words take the -er suffix or modifying word more or less; it can also, however, appear when no adjective or adverb is present, for instance with nouns. The syntax of comparative constructions is poorly understood due to the complexity of the data. In particular, the comparative frequently occurs with independent mechanisms of syntax such as coordination and forms of ellipsis. The interaction of the various mechanisms complicates the analysis. Most if not all languages have some means of forming the comparative, although these means can vary significantly from one language to the next.

British National Corpus

  1. Adjectives Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'comparative' in Adjectives Frequency: #800

How to pronounce comparative?

How to say comparative in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of comparative in Chaldean Numerology is: 6

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of comparative in Pythagorean Numerology is: 6

Examples of comparative in a Sentence

  1. Sandrine Perret:

    Order books are currently very large (and this) gives visibility and makes the group somewhat more resilient from the general economic cycle, it gives the aerospace sector a comparative advantage relative to others that are more sensitive to short-term business fluctuations.

  2. Ashley Seifert:

    Will we one day be able to regenerate a human digit or even a limb ? Probably, but how long we need to wait is impossible to predict, one step in that direction will be when regenerative biology fully embraces new regenerative models, particularly certain species of mammals. This and comparative studies will help us understand how and why regeneration fails in some contexts and succeeds in others.

  3. Chinese Embassy:

    Kazakhstani Health Department and other agencies are conducting comparative research and have not defined the nature of the pneumonia virus.

  4. Lowy Institute:

    Levels of economic development or differences in political systems between countries had less of an impact on outcomes than often assumed or publicised, in general, countries with smaller populations, cohesive societies, and capable institutions have a comparative advantage in dealing with a global crisis such as a pandemic.

  5. Yasuhiro Oba:

    The discovery of uracil in the samples from Ryugu lends strength to current theories regarding the source of nucleobases in the early Earth, the OSIRIS-REx mission by NASA will be returning samples from asteroid Bennu this year, and a comparative study of the composition of these asteroids will provide further data to build on these theories.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for comparative

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"comparative." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 5 Mar. 2024. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/comparative>.

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