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.

Definitions of comparative
  1. adjective
    relating to or based on or involving comparison
    comparative linguistics”
  2. adjective
    estimated by comparison; not absolute or complete
    synonyms: relative
    having a relation or being related
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    perfect or complete or pure
    lacking compromising or mitigating elements; exact
    implicit, unquestioning
    being without doubt or reserve
    total and all-embracing
    (informal) absolute
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  3. noun
    the comparative form of an adjective or adverb
    “`faster' is the comparative of the adjective `fast'”
    “`less famous' is the comparative degree of the adjective `famous'”
    “`more surely' is the comparative of the adverb `surely'”
    synonyms: comparative degree
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    type of:
    a word that expresses an attribute of something
    a word that modifies something other than a noun