comparative (adj.)

mid-15c., "implying comparison," from Old French comparatif, from Latin comparativus "pertaining to comparison," from comparat-, past participle stem of comparare "make equal with, liken, bring together for a contest," from com "with, together" (see com-) + par "equal" (see par (n.)).

Originally grammatical and applied to derived adjectives such as greater, stronger, softer. General sense of "estimated by comparison, relative" is from 1590s. Meaning "involving the parallel pursuit of different branches of a subject" is from 1670s. Old English used wiðmetendlic as a loan-translation of Latin comparativus. Related: Comparatively.

updated on February 23, 2018

Definitions of comparative from WordNet
comparative (adj.)
relating to or based on or involving comparison;
comparative linguistics
the comparative form of an adjective
comparative (adj.)
estimated by comparison; not absolute or complete;
Synonyms: relative
comparative (n.)
the comparative form of an adjective or adverb;
`more surely' is the comparative of the adverb `surely'
`less famous' is the comparative degree of the adjective `famous'
`faster' is the comparative of the adjective `fast'
Synonyms: comparative degree
Etymologies are not definitions. From, not affiliated with etymonline.