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comprehend

[kom-pri-hend]
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verb (used with object)
  1. to understand the nature or meaning of; grasp with the mind; perceive: He did not comprehend the significance of the ambassador's remark.
  2. to take in or embrace; include; comprise: The course will comprehend all facets of Japanese culture.
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Origin of comprehend

1350–1400; Middle English comprehenden < Latin comprehendere, equivalent to com- com- + prehendere to grasp; see prehensile
Related formscom·pre·hend·er, nouncom·pre·hend·ing·ly, adverbnon·com·pre·hend·ing, adjectivenon·com·pre·hend·ing·ly, adverbpre·com·pre·hend, verb (used with object)self-com·pre·hend·ing, adjectiveun·com·pre·hend·ed, adjectiveun·com·pre·hend·ing, adjectiveun·com·pre·hend·ing·ly, adverbwell-com·pre·hend·ed, adjective
Can be confusedapprehend comprehend

Synonyms

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1. See know1. 2. See include.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for comprehend

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • She did not seem to hear at first, nor to comprehend when she went back over his words.

    The Spenders

    Harry Leon Wilson

  • But her new theory of acceptance did not comprehend everything.

    K

    Mary Roberts Rinehart

  • But we must not expect with our finite mind to comprehend the infinite God.

  • She did not comprehend that Martin definitely did not want it changed.

    Dust

    Mr. and Mrs. Haldeman-Julius

  • Any thing like a general argument Mr. Hardcastle could not comprehend.


British Dictionary definitions for comprehend

comprehend

verb
  1. to perceive or understand
  2. (tr) to comprise or embrace; include
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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

Word Origin and History for comprehend

v.

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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper