American English

Definition of comparison noun from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



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  1. 1 [uncountable] comparison (with somebody/something) the process of comparing two or more people or things Comparison with other oil-producing countries is extremely interesting. I enclose the two plans for comparison. The education system bears no comparison with that in many European countries (= it is not as good). For Durkheim, comparison was the most important method of analysis in sociology.
  2. 2 [countable] an occasion when two or more people or things are compared comparison of A and B a comparison of the rail systems in Japan and the U.S. comparison of A with B a comparison of men's salaries with those of women comparison between A and B comparisons between Connecticut and the rest of New England comparison of A to B a comparison of the brain to a computer (= showing what is similar) comparison (with something) It is difficult to make a comparison with her previous book—they are completely different. You can draw comparisons with the situation in Texas (= say how the two situations are similar). Language Banksimilarlymaking comparisons This chart provides a comparison of the ways that teenage boys and girls in the U.S. spend their free time. In many cases, the results for boys and girls are virtually the same/identical. In many cases, the results for boys are virtually the same as/identical to the results for girls. Both boys and girls spend the bulk of their free time with friends. Most of the boys play more than two hours of sports a week, as do many of the girls. Like many of the girls, most of the boys spend a large part of their free time using the Internet. The girls particularly enjoy using social networking websites. Similarly, nearly all the boys said they spent at least two to three hours a week on these sites.
  3. Idioms
    by comparison
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    used especially at the beginning of a sentence when the next thing that is mentioned is compared with something in the previous sentence By comparison, expenditure on education increased last year. His problems seemed trivial by comparison.
    by/in comparison (with somebody/something)
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    when compared with someone or something The second half of the game was dull by comparison with the first. The tallest buildings in Boston are small in comparison with New York's skyscrapers.
    pale beside/next to something, pale in/by comparison (with/to something), pale into insignificance
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    to seem less important when compared with something else Last year's riots pale in comparison with this latest outburst of violence. Our problems pale into insignificance when compared to theirs.
    there's no comparison
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    used to emphasize the difference between two people or things that are being compared In terms of price there's no comparison (= one thing is much more expensive than the other).
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: comparison

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