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

From the Late Latin word comprehēnsīvus, dating back to 1605–15. See comprehension, -ive
Related formscom·pre·hen·sive·ly, adverbcom·pre·hen·sive·ness, nounnon·com·pre·hen·sive, adjectivenon·com·pre·hen·sive·ly, adverbnon·com·pre·hen·sive·ness, nounpre·com·pre·hen·sive, adjectivepre·com·pre·hen·sive·ly, adverbpre·com·pre·hen·sive·ness, nounqua·si-com·pre·hen·sive, adjectivequa·si-com·pre·hen·sive·ly, adverbun·com·pre·hen·sive, adjectiveun·com·pre·hen·sive·ly, adverbun·com·pre·hen·sive·ness, noun
Can be confusedcomprehensible comprehensive

Synonyms for comprehensive Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for comprehensiveness

Historical Examples of comprehensiveness

  • The boy flushed with pleasure under the comprehensiveness of that wink.

  • I used to pride myself on that once, fool that I was, and call it comprehensiveness.

    Daily Thoughts

    Charles Kingsley

  • But the bird's-eye view of the city is a marvel in its perfection and comprehensiveness.

    Foot-prints of Travel

    Maturin M. Ballou

  • But this will be due, not to its own tendencies, but to the comprehensiveness of the old definitions.

    Gryll Grange

    Thomas Love Peacock

  • This view of the Yosemite surpasses all others in its comprehensiveness and grandeur.

British Dictionary definitions for comprehensiveness



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 comprehensiveness



"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