com·pa·ra·ble (kŏmpər-ə-bəl, -prə-bəl)
1. Admitting of comparison with another or others: “The satellite revolution is comparable to Gutenberg's invention of movable type” (Irvin Molotsky).
2. Similar or equivalent: pianists of comparable ability.
com′pa·ra·bili·ty, compa·ra·ble·ness n.
Usage Note: Usually when the suffix –able is attached to a word, the stress pattern of the original word remains the same. For example, when –able is added to deplore, the stress remains on the second syllable. Compare, which is stressed on the second syllable, is a prominent exception to this pattern. Comparable is traditionally pronounced with stress on the first syllable, and this pronunciation was preferred by 96 percent of the Usage Panel in 2017. Even though the pronunciation in which the second syllable is stressed (kəm-pârə-bəl) is common, 52 percent of the Panel found it unacceptable (down from 70 percent in 2002).
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
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