Compare Com*pare", v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Compared}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Comparing}.] [L.comparare, fr. compar like or equal to another; com- + par equal: cf. F. comparer. See {Pair}, {Peer} an equal, and cf. {Compeer}.] 1. To examine the character or qualities of, as of two or more persons or things, for the purpose of discovering their resemblances or differences; to bring into comparison; to regard with discriminating attention. [1913 Webster]

Compare dead happiness with living woe. --Shak. [1913 Webster]

The place he found beyond expression bright, Compared with aught on earth. --Milton. [1913 Webster]

Compare our faces and be judge yourself. --Shak. [1913 Webster]

To compare great things with small. --Milton. [1913 Webster]

2. To represent as similar, for the purpose of illustration; to liken. [1913 Webster]

Solon compared the people unto the sea, and orators and counselors to the winds; for that the sea would be calm and quiet if the winds did not trouble it. --Bacon. [1913 Webster]

3. (Gram.) To inflect according to the degrees of comparison; to state positive, comparative, and superlative forms of; as, most adjectives of one syllable are compared by affixing ``- er'' and ``-est'' to the positive form; as, black, blacker, blackest; those of more than one syllable are usually compared by prefixing ``more'' and ``most'', or ``less'' and ``least'', to the positive; as, beautiful, more beautiful, most beautiful.

Syn: To {Compare}, {Compare with}, {Compare to}.

Usage: Things are compared with each other in order to learn their relative value or excellence. Thus we compare Cicero with Demosthenes, for the sake of deciding which was the greater orator. One thing is compared to another because of a real or fanciful likeness or similarity which exists between them. Thus it has been common to compare the eloquence of Demosthenes to a thunderbolt, on account of its force, and the eloquence of Cicero to a conflagration, on account of its splendor. Burke compares the parks of London to the lungs of the human body. [1913 Webster]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

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