The effect that acetaminophen and ibuprofen have on headaches is an example of comparable.
- that can be compared
- worthy of comparison
Origin of comparableMiddle English and Old French from Classical Latin comparabilis
- Admitting of comparison with another or others: “The satellite revolution is comparable to Gutenberg's invention of movable type” ( Irvin Molotsky )
- Similar or equivalent: pianists of comparable ability.
- com′pa·ra·bil′i·ty com′pa·ra·ble·ness
Usage Note: Usually when the suffix -able is attached to a word, the stress pattern of the original word remains the same. For example, when -able is added to manage, the stress remains on the first syllable. Compare, which is stressed on the second syllable, is a prominent exception to this pattern. Comparable is traditionally pronounced with stress on the first syllable. In our 2002 survey, 70 percent of the Usage Panel found the pronunciation in which the second syllable is stressed (kəm-pâr′ə-bəl) to be unacceptable. This pronunciation is very common, however, and would seem likely to become more acceptable because so many other words are stressed in this pattern.
(comparative more comparable, superlative most comparable)
- (often with to) Able to be compared (to).
- An elephant is comparable in size to a double-decker bus. You can't say that robbing a bank is like pickpocketing. The two are just not comparable.
- (often with to) Similar (to); like.
- (mathematics) Constituting a pair in a particular partial order.
- Six and forty-two are comparable in the divides order, but six and nine are not.
- (grammar) Said of an adjective that has a comparative and superlative form.
- "Big" is a comparable adjective, since it can take the forms "bigger" and "biggest"; but "unique" is not comparable, except in disputed, but common, usage.
- Something suitable for comparison.
From Middle French comparable.