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What is a word for comparing two things but suggesting one is better than the other?

For example: John verbally compares a and b but hints that a is superior.

With what word would I replace compares so I can get rid of the second clause?

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  • John compares b against his preferred choice of a. John goes through the motions of comparing b to his favored a. John quickly discards b after a cursory comparison to a.
    – Jim
    Sep 15 '14 at 1:58
  • @Jim Sorry - My example was a bit unclear. I have revised it. Sep 15 '14 at 2:02
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Consider extol (or extoll)

to praise highly; laud

While extol does not require a comparison, it suggests an extensive praising that usually includes a detailed exposition of the value of the praised object.

He extolled a over b.

The suggestion is that he waxed eloquent as to why a is better than b. A comparison may be implied.

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I'm not aware of a word that means exactly what you're looking for. Contrasting focuses on the differences between options A and B, and is often used when one is preferable to the other and you're trying to highlight why. But it's not always so - you can contrast 'night' and 'day' without implying one is better than the other.

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"John favo(u)rably compares A {with / to} B".

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  • Plus one. I was going to suggest "Compares B unfavourably with A" but that is, of course, the same thing in reverse. Not quite the word that the OP is looking for but I will be surprised if anyone comes up with a better answer.
    – BoldBen
    Oct 20 '18 at 11:21

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