Comparative Com*par"a*tive, a. [L. comparativus: cf. F. comparatif.] 1. Of or pertaining to comparison. ``The comparative faculty.'' --Glanvill. [1913 Webster]

2. Proceeding from, or by the method of, comparison; as, the comparative sciences; the comparative anatomy. [1913 Webster]

3. Estimated by comparison; relative; not positive or absolute, as compared with another thing or state. [1913 Webster]

The recurrence of comparative warmth and cold. --Whewell. [1913 Webster]

The bubble, by reason of its comparative levity to the fluid that incloses it, would necessarily ascend to the top. --Bentley. [1913 Webster]

4. (Gram.) Expressing a degree greater or less than the positive degree of the quality denoted by an adjective or adverb. The comparative degree is formed from the positive by the use of -er, more, or less; as, brighter, more bright, or less bright. [1913 Webster]

{Comparative sciences}, those which are based on a comprehensive comparison of the range of objects or facts in any branch or department, and which aim to study out and treat of the fundamental laws or systems of relation pervading them; as, {comparative anatomy}, {comparative physiology}, {comparative philology}. [1913 Webster]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.


Look at other dictionaries:

  • comparative — com·par·a·tive /kəm par ə tiv/ adj: characterized by systematic comparison comparative contribution, which apportions according to...respective fault W. L. Prosser and W. P. Keeton com·par·a·tive·ly adv Merriam Webster’s Dictionary of Law.… …   Law dictionary

  • Comparative — Com*par a*tive, n. (Gram.) The comparative degree of adjectives and adverbs; also, the form by which the comparative degree is expressed; as, stronger, wiser, weaker, more stormy, less windy, are all comparatives. [1913 Webster] In comparatives… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • comparative — [kəm par′ə tiv] adj. [ME < L comparativus] 1. that compares; involving comparison as a method, esp. in a branch of study [comparative linguistics] 2. estimated by comparison with something else; relative [a comparative success] 3. Gram.… …   English World dictionary

  • comparative — mid 15c., from M.Fr. comparatif, from L. comparativus pertaining to comparison, from comparatus, pp. of comparare (see COMPARISON (Cf. comparison)). Originally grammatical; general sense is from c.1600; meaning involving different branches of a… …   Etymology dictionary

  • comparative — [adj] approximate, close to allusive, analogous, approaching, by comparison, comparable, conditional, connected, contingent, contrastive, correlative, corresponding, equivalent, in proportion, like, matching, metaphorical, near, not absolute, not …   New thesaurus

  • comparative — ► ADJECTIVE 1) measured or judged by comparison; relative. 2) involving comparison between two or more subjects or branches of science. 3) (of an adjective or adverb) expressing a higher degree of a quality, but not the highest possible (e.g.… …   English terms dictionary

  • Comparative — For other uses, see Comparative (disambiguation). In grammar, the comparative is the form of an adjective or adverb which denotes the degree or grade by which a person, thing, or other entity has a property or quality greater or less in extent… …   Wikipedia

  • comparative — com|par|a|tive1 [kəmˈpærətıv] adj 1.) comparative comfort/freedom/wealth etc comfort etc that is quite good when compared to how comfortable, free, or rich etc something or someone else is = ↑relative ▪ After a lifetime of poverty, his last few… …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • comparative — [[t]kəmpæ̱rətɪv[/t]] comparatives 1) ADJ: ADJ n You use comparative to show that you are judging something against a previous or different situation. For example, comparative calm is a situation which is calmer than before or calmer than the… …   English dictionary

  • comparative — 1 adjective 1 comparative comfort/freedom/wealth etc comfort, freedom etc that is fairly satisfactory when compared to another state of comfort etc: After a lifetime of poverty, his last few years were spent in comparative comfort. 2 comparative… …   Longman dictionary of contemporary English

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