Definition of compare verb from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary

      

    compare

     verb
    verb
    BrE BrE//kəmˈpeə(r)//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//kəmˈper//
     
    Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they compare
    BrE BrE//kəmˈpeə(r)//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//kəmˈper//
     
    he / she / it compares
    BrE BrE//kəmˈpeəz//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//kəmˈperz//
     
    past simple compared
    BrE BrE//kəmˈpeəd//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//kəmˈperd//
     
    past participle compared
    BrE BrE//kəmˈpeəd//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//kəmˈperd//
     
    -ing form comparing
    BrE BrE//kəmˈpeərɪŋ//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//kəmˈperɪŋ//
     
     
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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. I've had some difficulties, but they were nothing compared to yours (= they were not nearly as bad as yours). 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 UK 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 to 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 transport 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 transport use. From the data in the above graph, it is apparent that buses are the most widely used form of public transport.
  2. 2  [intransitive] compare with/to somebody/something to be similar to somebody/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). Their prices compare favourably to those of their competitors.
  3. 3  [transitive] compare A to B to show or state that somebody/something is similar to somebody/something else The critics compared his work to that of Martin Amis.
  4. Word Origin late Middle English: from Old French comparer, from Latin comparare, from compar ‘like, equal’, from com- ‘with’ + par ‘equal’.Extra examples Few things compare with= are as good as the joy of walking on a bright spring morning. I’ve had some difficulties but they were nothing compared to yours. The city compares favourably with other parts of Brazil. The golfer Tiger Woods is often compared to Jack Nicklaus. These mountains do not compare with the Himalayas. These mountains do not compare with= are not nearly as high, impressive, etc. as the Himalayas. Athletics just can’t compare with professional sport in terms of material gain. Average speeds for the journey compare unfavourably with the rest of the rail network. Few trees can compare with our native rowan for ease of cultivation. How can you compare the two things? They are so different! How do these results compare with last year’s? My own problems seem insignificant compared with other people’s. Nothing compares with the sight of your child swimming for the first time. Our productivity compares well with our UK competitors’. The critics compared his work to that of Hemingway. The profit of £23 million compares with a £32 million loss in the previous financial year. This Roman gold doesn’t compare to a recent find by a local farmer, which is worth millions. This government’s record compares favourably with that of our predecessors.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 afterwards.
    you can’t compare apples and oranges
     
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    (North American English) 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 American Dictionary entry: compare