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[kom-pri-hend] /ˌkɒm prɪˈhɛnd/
verb (used with object)
to understand the nature or meaning of; grasp with the mind; perceive:
He did not comprehend the significance of the ambassador's remark.
to take in or embrace; include; comprise:
The course will comprehend all facets of Japanese culture.
Origin of comprehend
1350-1400; Middle English comprehenden < Latin comprehendere, equivalent to com- com- + prehendere to grasp; see prehensile
Related forms
comprehender, noun
comprehendingly, adverb
noncomprehending, adjective
noncomprehendingly, adverb
precomprehend, verb (used with object)
self-comprehending, adjective
uncomprehended, adjective
uncomprehending, adjective
uncomprehendingly, adverb
well-comprehended, adjective
Can be confused
apprehend, comprehend.
1. See know1 . 2. See include. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2016.
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Examples from the Web for comprehended
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Rosas comprehended this movement, and bethought himself of the means of stifling it in the bud.

  • It was thus alone that the Italians comprehended government.

    New Italian sketches John Addington Symonds
  • All this Padre Vicente heard, all this and much of it was comprehended by him.

    The Flute of the Gods Marah Ellis Ryan
  • At a glance he comprehended what had occurred during his sleep,—all except the cause.

    The Ocean Waifs Mayne Reid
  • Anthony comprehended in a moment the meaning of that sad, sad look.

    Mark Hurdlestone Susanna Moodie
  • These things are too sublime to be understood or comprehended by human reason.

  • And for the first time Nigel comprehended that the fortunes of Wallenstein were dearer to her heart than a lover's passion.

    The Mercenary W. J. Eccott
  • He comprehended that the volley they had received had emptied every Rebel gun.

    The Red Acorn John McElroy
British Dictionary definitions for comprehended


to perceive or understand
(transitive) to comprise or embrace; include
Word Origin
C14: from Latin comprehendere, from prehendere to seize
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for comprehended



mid-14c., "to understand," from Latin comprehendere "to take together, to unite; include; seize" (of catching fire or the arrest of criminals); also "to comprehend, perceive" (to seize or take in the mind), from com- "completely" (see com-) + prehendere "to catch hold of, seize" (see prehensile). Related: Comprehended; comprehending.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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