late 14c., from Old French comparer (12c., Modern French comparer), from Late Latin comparare "to liken, to compare," from com "with, together" (see com-) + par "equal" (see par (n.)). Related: Compared; comparing. To compare notes is from 1708. Phrase without compare (attested from 1620s, but similar phrasing dates to 1530s) seems to be altered by folk etymology from compeer "rival."
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