The word comparative deals, naturally, with comparisons, looking at characteristics of two or more things. For example, you might study a course such as comparative literature, which examines works from two or more cultures or languages.
Coming from the Latin verb comparāre, "to compare," comparative worked its way into Late Middle English as an adjectival form indicating comparison. In the comparative form, the adjective either ends in "-er" (my hands are smaller than yours are) or uses the word "more" before it (you are more qualified than the other applicants are). The word also can offer an estimate rather than an absolute. You might be a comparative beginner in cooking class, but your ham still won the prize.