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Webster 1913 Edition


Comparison

Com-par′i-son

(? or ?)
,
Noun.
[F.
comparaison
, L.
comparatio
. See 1st
Compare
.]
1.
The act of comparing; an examination of two or more objects with the view of discovering the resemblances or differences; relative estimate.
As sharp legal practitioners, no class of human beings can bear
comparison
with them.
Macaulay.
The miracles of our Lord and those of the Old Testament afford many interesting points of
comparison
.
Trench.
2.
The state of being compared; a relative estimate; also, a state, quality, or relation, admitting of being compared;
as, to bring a thing into
comparison
with another; there is no
comparison
between them
.
3.
That to which, or with which, a thing is compared, as being equal or like; illustration; similitude.
Whereto shall we liken the kingdom of God? Or with what
comparison
shall we compare it?
Mark iv. 30.
4.
(Gram.)
The modification, by inflection or otherwise, which the adjective and adverb undergo to denote degrees of quality or quantity;
as,
little
,
less
,
least
, are examples of
comparison
.
5.
(Rhet.)
A figure by which one person or thing is compared to another, or the two are considered with regard to some property or quality, which is common to them both; e.g., the lake sparkled like a jewel.
6.
(Phren.)
The faculty of the reflective group which is supposed to perceive resemblances and contrasts.

Com-par′i-son

,
Verb.
T.
To compare.
[Obs.]
Wyclif.

Webster 1828 Edition


Comparison

COMPARISON

, n.
1.
The act of comparing; the act of considering the relation between persons or things, with a view to discover their agreement or resemblance, or their disagreement or difference.
We learn to form a correct estimate of men and their actions by comparison.
2.
The state of being compared.
If we rightly estimate what we call good and evil, we shall find it lies much in comparison.
3.
Comparative estimate; proportion.
Who is left among you that saw this house in its first glory? And how do you see it now? Is it not in your eyes in comparison of it as nothing? Hag. 2.
4.
In grammar, the formation of an adjective in its several degrees of signification; as strong, stronger, strongest; greenish, green, greener, greenest; glorious, more glorious, most glorious. In English, there are strictly four degrees of comparison.
5.
A simile, similitude, or illustration by similitude.
Whereto shall we liken the kingdom of God? Or with what comparison shall we compare it? Mark 4.
6.
In rhetoric, a figure by which two things are considered with regard to a third, which is common to them both; as, a hero is like a lion in courage. Here courage is common to hero and lion, and constitutes the point of resemblance.
The distinction between similitude and comparison is, that the former has reference to the quality; the latter, to the quantity. Comparison is between more and less; similitude is between good and gad. Hannibal--hung like a tempest on the declivities of the Alps--is a likeness by similitude. The sublimity of the scriptural prophets exceeds that of Homer, as much as thunder is louder than a whisper--is a likeness by comparison.
But comparison has reference to quality as well as quantity.

Definition 2022


comparison

comparison

English

Noun

comparison (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.
    • Thomas Macaulay (1800-1859)
      As sharp legal practitioners, no class of human beings can bear comparison with them.
    • (Can we date this quote?) Richard Chenevix Trench
      The miracles of our Lord and those of the Old Testament afford many interesting points of comparison.
    • 1909, Archibald Marshall, The Squire's Daughter, chapterII:
      "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) The ability of adjectives and adverbs to form three degrees, as in hot, hotter, hottest.
  5. That to which, or with which, a thing is compared, as being equal or like; illustration; similitude.
    • Bible, Mark iv. 30
      Whereto shall we liken the kingdom of God? Or with what comparison shall we compare it?
  6. (rhetoric) A simile.
  7. (phrenology) The faculty of the reflective group which is supposed to perceive resemblances and contrasts.

Related terms

Translations


Old French

Etymology

Borrowing from Latin comparātiō[1].

Noun

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

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

Descendants

References

  1. comparaison” in le Trésor de la langue française informatisé (The Digitized Treasury of the French Language).