[ 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).

Nearby words

  1. comprador,
  2. comprehend,
  3. comprehendible,
  4. comprehensible,
  5. comprehension,
  6. comprehensive school,
  7. comprehensively,
  8. compress,
  9. compressed,
  10. compressed air

Origin of comprehensive

From the Late Latin word comprehēnsīvus, dating back to 1605–15. See comprehension, -ive

Related forms
Can be confusedcomprehensible comprehensive Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for comprehensively

British Dictionary definitions for comprehensively


/ (ˌkɒmprɪˈhɛnsɪv) /


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 Formscomprehensively, adverbcomprehensiveness, 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

Word Origin and History for comprehensively



"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