• (America) IPA: /kəmˈpɛɹ.ə.tɪv/
  • (RP, northeastern US, older southern US) IPA: /kəmˈpæɹ.ə.tɪv/


  1. Of or relating to comparison.
    • '1773, James Burnett, Of the Origin and Progress of Language
      that kind of animals that have the comparative faculty, by which they compare things together, deliberate and resolve
  2. Using comparison as a method of study, or founded on something using it.
    comparative anatomy
  3. Approximated by comparison; relative.
    • 1837, William Whewell, History of the Inductive Sciences
      The recurrence of comparative warmth and cold.
    • 1692, Richard Bentley, A Confutation of Atheism
      This bubble, […] by reason of its comparative levity to the fluid that encloses it, would necessarily ascend to the top.
  4. (obsolete) Comparable; bearing comparison.
    • 1819, Lord Byron, Don Juan, II.137:
      And need he had of slumber yet, for none / Had suffered more—his hardships were comparative / To those related in my grand-dad's Narrative.
Translations Translations Translations Noun

comparative (plural comparatives)

  1. (grammar) 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. (grammar) A word in the comparative form.
  3. (mostly, in the plural) Data used to make a comparison.
  4. (obsolete) An equal; a rival; a compeer.
    • (Can we date this quote?), Francis Beaumont; John Fletcher, “Four Plays in One”, in Comedies and Tragedies […], London: Printed for Humphrey Robinson, […], and for Humphrey Moseley […], published 1647, OCLC 3083972 ↗, Act THE TRIUMPH OF LOVE, (please specify the scene number in lowercase Roman numerals):
      Gerrard ever was / His full comparative.
  5. (obsolete) One who makes comparisons; one who affects wit.
    • 1597, William Shakespeare, Henry IV, Pt. 1, III.ii.67:
      Every beardless vain comparative.
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