What does compare mean?

Definitions for compare

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

Princeton's WordNet

  1. comparison, compare, equivalence, comparabilityverb

    qualities that are comparable

    "no comparison between the two books"; "beyond compare"

  2. compareverb

    examine and note the similarities or differences of

    "John compared his haircut to his friend's"; "We compared notes after we had both seen the movie"

  3. compareverb

    be comparable

    "This car does not compare with our line of Mercedes"

  4. compare, liken, equateverb

    consider or describe as similar, equal, or analogous

    "We can compare the Han dynasty to the Romans"; "You cannot equate success in financial matters with greed"

  5. compareverb

    to form the comparative or superlative form on an adjective or adverb


  1. compareverb

    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.

  2. compareverb

    To declare two things to be similar in some respect ["to compare X to Y"].

    Astronomers have compared comets to dirty snowballs

  3. compareverb

    To form the three degrees of comparison of (an adjective).

    We compare good as good, better, best

  4. compareverb

    To be similar (often used in the negative).

    A sapling and a fully-grown oak tree do not compare.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. Comparenoun

    Etymology: from the verb.

    There I the rarest things have seen,
    Oh, things without compare. John Suckling.

    As their small galleys may not hold compare
    With our tall ships. Edmund Waller.

    Beyond compare the Son of God was seen
    Most glorious. John Milton, Paradise Lost, b. iii. l. 138.

    True swains in love shall in the world to come,
    Approve their truths by Troilus; when their rhimes,
    Full of protest, and oath, and big compare,
    Want similies. William Shakespeare, Troilus and Cressida.

  2. To COMPAREverb

    Etymology: comparo, Latin.

    I will hear Brutus speak. ————
    I will hear Cassius, and compare their reasons. William Shakespeare.

    They measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise. 2 Cor. x. 12.

    No man can think it grievous, who considers the pleasure and sweetness of love, and the glorious victory of overcoming evil with good; and then compares these with the restless torment, and perpetual tumults, of a malicious and revengeful spirit. John Tillotson, Sermon vi.

    He that has got the ideas of numbers, and hath taken the pains to compare one, two, and three to six, cannot chuse but know they are equal. John Locke.

    Thus much of the wrong judgment men make of present and future pleasure and pain, when they are compared together, and so the absent considered as future. John Locke.

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

    Black Macbeth
    Will seem as pure as snow, being compar’d
    With my confineless harms. William Shakespeare, Macbeth.

    To compare
    Small things with greatest. John Milton, Paradise Regained, b. iv.

    He carv’d in iv’ry such a maid so fair,
    As nature could not with his art compare. Dryden.

    If he compares this translation with the original, he will find that the three first stanzas are rendered almost word for word. Joseph Addison, Spectator, №. 229.

    But, both from back and belly, still did spare
    To fill his bags, and riches to compare. Fairy Queen, b. i.


  1. compare

    To compare means to examine the similarities and/or differences between two or more items, individuals, or concepts. This process can be employed in order to make judgments, decisions, or to simply understand the characteristics of each item more thoroughly.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Compareverb

    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

  2. Compareverb

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

  3. Compareverb

    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

  4. Compareverb

    to be like or equal; to admit, or be worthy of, comparison; as, his later work does not compare with his earlier

  5. Compareverb

    to vie; to assume a likeness or equality

  6. Comparenoun


  7. Comparenoun

    illustration by comparison; simile

  8. Compareverb

    to get; to procure; to obtain; to acquire

  9. Etymology: [L. comparare to prepare, procure; com- + parare. See Prepare, Parade.]

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Compare

    kom-pār′, v.t. to set things together, to ascertain how far they agree or disagree: to liken or represent as similar: (gram.) to inflect an adjective.—v.i. to hold comparison.—n. (obs.) comparison: similitude.—adj. Com′parable, that may be compared.—n. Com′parableness.—adv. Com′parably.—adj. Compar′ative, pertaining to comparison: estimated by comparing with something else: not positive or absolute: (gram.) expressing more.—adv. Compar′atively.—n. Compar′ison, the act of comparing: capacity of being compared: comparative estimate: a simile or figure by which two things are compared: (gram.) the inflection of an adjective.—Beyond compare, without any rival. [Fr.,—L. comparāre, to match, from com, together, parāre, to make or esteem equal—par, equal.]

  2. Compare

    kom-pār′, v.t. (Spens.) to get or provide. [L. comparārecom, inten., parāre, to prepare.]

Matched Categories

British National Corpus

  1. Spoken Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'compare' in Spoken Corpus Frequency: #3991

  2. Written Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'compare' in Written Corpus Frequency: #3096

  3. Verbs Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'compare' in Verbs Frequency: #174

How to pronounce compare?

How to say compare in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of compare in Chaldean Numerology is: 3

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of compare in Pythagorean Numerology is: 8

Examples of compare in a Sentence

  1. Lao Tzu:

    When you are content to be simply yourself and don't compare or compete, everybody will respect you.

  2. danwise:

    Never compare, thats the key for happyness. Learn from others but dont compare yourself to them, make your way and appreciate it.

  3. Councilmember Shook:

    My constituents don't compare Zone 2 crime stats to Zone 5 crime stats. They are human beings. They compare how they feel now about crime and how they think they remember feeling about crime 10 years ago, and I will tell you, statistics bear out the fact that their instincts and feelings are correct. Things are much worse here, relatively speaking, than they were 10 years ago.

  4. James Kavanagh:

    In the developing world, particularly Africa and South and Central America, and Southeast Asia there's a real need to be able to compare like-for-like across borders, so if you're looking at a piece of property or land for investment in Ghana then you can compare the same kind of principles in Botswana.

  5. Leon Draisaitl:

    It’s hard to compare eras, it’s hard to compare generations, the game has changed.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for compare

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"compare." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 29 Sep. 2023. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/compare>.

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    established or prearranged unalterably
    • A. foreordained
    • B. extroversive
    • C. ravening
    • D. appellative

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