comparison


comparison
comparison, contrast, antithesis, collation, parallel mean a setting of things side by side so as to discover or exhibit their likenesses and differences, especially their generic likenesses and differences.
Comparison is often used as the comprehensive term; it is preferred when the differences are obvious, and an intent to lay bare resemblances and similarities for the sake of expounding or judging is implied
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despite the fact that Communism and Fascism are antagonistic ideologies, there is ground for a comparison between them

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students who make a comparison of Shakespeare's Hamlet and the play which was its source acquire intimate knowledge of the great dramatist's indebtedness to others

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Because measuring one thing in terms of another is usually implied by comparison, the word often imputes an offensive character either to the association
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the comparison of "the colonel's lady" and "Judy 0'Grady"

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or to the judgment
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comparisons are odious

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a tactful person never makes comparisons

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he will lose nothing by the comparison

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make no comparisons; and if any of the company be commended for any brave act of virtue, commend not another for the same— Washington

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Contrast more specifically implies an intent to distinguish or discriminate things which are so much alike that their differences are not obvious
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the correct use of close synonyms can be shown only by contrast

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you cannot value him alone; you must set him, for contrast and comparison, among the dead— T. S. Eliot

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Contrast often also suggests an aesthetic rather than an expository aim or an artistic effect gained by the exhibition of startling differences
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in physical appearance that contrast is glaring . . . the square, full-blooded, blunt face of the one, the pointed chin and finely cut, pale features of the other— Belloc

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Antithesis also implies contrast for the sake of revealing startling differences, but it distinctively suggests such opposition in the things contrasted that they either represent balancing extremes or negate each other. The word may imply an expository intent; it then presupposes that the true nature of one thing is fully understood only when it is presented as opposed to what is unlike it in every particular
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the century-old antitheses of heavenly justice and earthly fallibility, sin and innocence, Heaven and Hell, God and the Devil dominate Melville's mind— Weir

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Collation and parallel denote a kind of comparison for the purpose of revealing both likenesses and differences. Both imply a close study and usually a specific aim.
Collation more specifically implies a comparison of different versions, accounts, editions, texts, or manuscripts of the same thing for the purpose of verification, coordination, correction, or selection of the original
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make a collation of the Scriptural accounts of the Resurrection

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of these [corrupt passages in Shakespeare] the restoration is only to be attempted by collation of copies or sagacity of conjecture— Johnson

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and parallel usually a minute comparison of passages, articles, or works which are believed to have a different origin in order to detect correspondences, or of accounts, records, or stories told at different times which ought to agree, in order to detect discrepancies; thus, by what is often called "the deadly parallel," a comparison of two articles may reveal such correspondences in language and thought as to give ground for a charge of plagiarism, or a comparison of testimony given by the same witness on two occasions may reveal discrepancies that make him liable to arrest for perjury.
Analogous words: *likeness, similarity, resemblance, analogy, similitude, affinity: *parallel, counterpart, analogue, correlate

New Dictionary of Synonyms. 2014.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Comparison — Com*par i*son (? or ?), n. [F. comparaison, L. comparatio. See 1st {Compare}.] 1. The act of comparing; an examination of two or more objects with the view of discovering the resemblances or differences; relative estimate. [1913 Webster] As sharp …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • comparison — 1. For comparison of adjectives, see adjective 3. 2. Comparison as the noun equivalent of compare is normally followed by with, not to, and this applies also to the expression by or in comparison: • By comparison with some of the 20 million tons… …   Modern English usage

  • comparison — [kəm par′ə sən] n. [ME < OFr comparaison < L comparatio < pp. of COMPARE] 1. a comparing or being compared; estimation of similarities and differences 2. sufficient likeness to make meaningful comparison possible; possibility of… …   English World dictionary

  • comparison — I noun alikeness, analogical procedure, analogy, association, balance, comparatio, comparative estimate, conlatio, contrast, correlation, equation, measurement, nearness, parallel, rapprochement, relative estimate, relative estimation,… …   Law dictionary

  • Comparison — Com*par i*son, v. t. To compare. [Obs.] Wyclif. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • comparison — mid 14c., from O.Fr. comparaison (12c.), from L. comparationem (nom. comparatio), noun of action from pp. stem of comparare make equal with, liken, bring together for a contest, lit. to couple together, to form in pairs, from com with (see COM… …   Etymology dictionary

  • comparison — [n] contrasting; corresponding allegory, analogizing, analogy, analyzing, association, balancing, bringing together, collating, collation, comparability, connection, contrast, correlation, discrimination, distinguishing, dividing, estimation,… …   New thesaurus

  • comparison — ► NOUN 1) the action or an instance of comparing. 2) the quality of being similar or equivalent …   English terms dictionary

  • comparison — n. 1) to draw, make a comparison 2) to hold up under comparison 3) to defy comparison 4) a favorable; unfavorable comparison 5) a comparison between; to, with (there is no comparison between them; she made a comparison of our literature to… …   Combinatory dictionary

  • comparison — com|pa|ri|son W2S3 [kəmˈpærısən] n ▬▬▬▬▬▬▬ 1¦(comparing)¦ 2¦(judgment)¦ 3¦(be like something)¦ 4 there s no comparison 5¦(grammar)¦ ▬▬▬▬▬▬▬ 1.) ¦(COMPARING)¦[U] the process of comparing two or more people or things →↑compare, comparative ↑ …   Dictionary of contemporary English


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