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Petrichor: The smell after rainfall


[kom-pri-hen-siv] /ˌkɒm prɪˈhɛn sɪv/
of large scope; covering or involving much; inclusive:
a comprehensive study of world affairs.
comprehending or thoroughly understanding with one's mind; having an extensive mental range or grasp, as of a particular subject or many subjects.
Insurance. covering or providing broad protection against loss.
Often, comprehensives. Also called comprehensive examination. an examination of extensive coverage given to measure a student's general progress, proficiency in his or her major field of study, or the like.
the detailed layout of an advertisement, showing placement of photographs, illustrations, copy, etc., as for presentation to a client.
Compare visual (def 7).
Origin of comprehensive
1605-15; < Late Latin comprehēnsīvus. See comprehension, -ive
Related forms
comprehensively, adverb
comprehensiveness, noun
noncomprehensive, adjective
noncomprehensively, adverb
noncomprehensiveness, noun
precomprehensive, adjective
precomprehensively, adverb
precomprehensiveness, noun
quasi-comprehensive, adjective
quasi-comprehensively, adverb
uncomprehensive, adjective
uncomprehensively, adverb
uncomprehensiveness, noun
Can be confused
comprehensible, comprehensive.
1. broad, wide, extensive, full. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for comprehensive
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • comprehensive greatness is never manifested by a small brain.

    How to Become Rich William Windsor
  • Then I ascended to the poop and took a comprehensive glance round me.

    A Middy of the King Harry Collingwood
  • Rational knowing on the other hand, was complete and comprehensive within itself.

  • It was splendid, so comprehensive, and above all, so practical.

    The Right Knock Helen Van-Anderson
  • Its range is comprehensive of the whole of the mighty subject, and it is literally crammed with fact and argument.

    The Hero of the Humber Henry Woodcock
British Dictionary definitions for comprehensive


of broad scope or content; including all or much
(of a car insurance policy) providing protection against most risks, including third-party liability, fire, theft, and damage
having the ability to understand
of, relating to, or being a comprehensive school
Derived Forms
comprehensively, adverb
comprehensiveness, noun
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 comprehensive

"containing much," 1610s, from French comprehénsif, from Late Latin comprehensivus, from comprehens-, past participle stem of Latin comprehendere (see comprehend). Related: Comprehensively (mid-15c.); comprehensiveness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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comprehensive in Technology

An early system on MIT's Whirlwind.
[Listed in CACM 2(5):16, May 1959].

The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010
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