[ kom-pri-hen-shuhn ]
See synonyms for comprehension on
  1. the act or process of comprehending.

  2. the state of being comprehended.

  1. perception or understanding: His comprehension of physics is amazing for a young student.

  2. capacity of the mind to perceive and understand; power to grasp ideas; ability to know.

  3. Logic. the connotation of a term.

Origin of comprehension

1400–50; late Middle English <Latin comprehēnsiōn- (stem of comprehēnsiō), equivalent to comprehēns(us) (past participle of comprehendere to comprehend) + -iōn--ion

Other words from comprehension

  • mis·com·pre·hen·sion, noun
  • non·com·pre·hen·sion, noun
  • pre·com·pre·hen·sion, noun
  • su·per·com·pre·hen·sion, noun
  • un·com·pre·hen·sion, noun

Words Nearby comprehension Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use comprehension in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for comprehension


/ (ˌkɒmprɪˈhɛnʃən) /

  1. the act or capacity of understanding

  2. the state of including or comprising something; comprehensiveness

  1. education an exercise consisting of a previously unseen passage of text with related questions, designed to test a student's understanding esp of a foreign language

  2. logic obsolete the attributes implied by a given concept or term; connotation

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