a. The act of comparing or the process of being compared.
b. A statement or estimate of similarities and differences.
2. The quality of being similar or equivalent; likeness: no comparison between the two books.
3. Grammar The modification or inflection of an adjective or adverb to denote the positive, comparative, and superlative degrees, as in English, along with the equative degree in certain other languages, such as Irish Gaelic.
[Middle English comparisoun, from Old French comparaison, from Latin comparātiō, comparātiōn-, from comparātus, past participle of comparāre, to compare; see COMPARE.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.