American English

Definition of compare verb from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



    Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they compare
    he / she / it compares
    past simple compared
    -ing form comparing
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  1. 1(abbreviation cf., cp.) [transitive] to examine people or things to see how they are similar and how they are different compare A and B It is interesting to compare their situation and ours. We compared the two reports carefully. compare A with/to B We carefully compared the first report with the second. My own problems seem insignificant compared with other people's. Standards in health care have improved enormously compared to 40 years ago. Language Bankcontrasthighlighting differences This survey highlights a number of differences in the way that teenage boys and girls in the U.S. spend their free time. One of the main differences between the girls and the boys who took part in the research was the way in which they use the Internet. Unlike the girls, who use the Internet mainly to keep in touch with friends, the boys questioned in this survey tend to use the Internet for playing computer games. The girls differ from the boys in that they tend to spend more time keeping in touch with friends on the telephone or on social networking websites. Compared with the boys, the girls spend much more time chatting to friends on the telephone. On average, the girls spend four hours a week chatting to friends on the phone. In contrast, very few of the boys spend more than five minutes a day talking to their friends in this way. The boys prefer competitive sports and computer games, whereas/while the girls seem to enjoy more cooperative activities, such as shopping with friends. When the girls go shopping, they mainly buy clothes and cosmetics. The boys, on the other hand, tend to purchase computer games or gadgets. Language Bankillustratereferring to a chart, graph, or table This bar chart illustrates how many journeys people made on public transportation over a three-month period. This table compares bus, train, and taxi use between April and June. The results are shown in the chart below. In this pie chart, the survey results are broken down by age. This pie chart breaks down the survey results by age. As can be seen from these results, younger people use buses more than older people. According to these figures, bus travel accounts for 60% of public transportation use. From the data in the above graph, it is apparent that buses are the most widely used form of public transportation.
  2. 2[intransitive] compare with/to somebody/something to be similar to someone or something else, either better or worse This school compares with the best in the country (= it is as good as them). This house doesn't compare with our previous one (= it is not as good). I've had some difficulties, but they were nothing compared to yours (= they were not nearly as bad as yours). Their prices compare favorably with those of their competitors.
  3. 3[transitive] compare A to B to show or state that someone or something is similar to someone or something else The critics compared his work to that of Faulkner.
  4. Idioms
    compare notes (with somebody)
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    if two or more people compare notes, they each say what they think about the same event, situation, etc. We saw the play separately and compared notes afterward.
    you can't compare apples and oranges
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    it is impossible to say that one thing is better than another if the two are completely different They are both great but you can't compare apples and oranges. No, you're trying to compare apples and oranges.
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: compare