[ kuhm-prahyz ]
See synonyms for: comprisecomprisedcomprisescomprising on

verb (used with object),com·prised, com·pris·ing.
  1. to include or contain: The Soviet Union comprised several socialist republics.

  2. to consist of; be composed of: The advisory board comprises six members.

  1. to form or constitute: Seminars and lectures comprised the day's activities.

Idioms about comprise

  1. be comprised of, to consist of; be composed of: The sales network is comprised of independent outlets and chain stores.

Origin of comprise

First recorded in 1400–50; late Middle English comprisen, from Middle French compris (past participle of comprendre ), from Latin comprehēnsus; see comprehension

synonym study For comprise

1. See include.

word story For comprise

Comprise has had an interesting history of sense development. In addition to its original senses, dating from the 15th century, “to include” and “to consist of ” ( The United States of America comprises 50 states ), comprise has had since the late 18th century the meaning “to form or constitute” ( Fifty states comprise the United States of America ). Since the late 19th century it has also been used in passive constructions with a sense synonymous with that of one of its original meanings “to consist of, be composed of ”: The United States of America is comprised of 50 states. These later uses are often criticized, but they occur with increasing frequency even in formal speech and writing.

Other words from comprise

  • com·pris·a·ble, adjective
  • com·pris·al, noun

Words that may be confused with comprise

  • compose, comprise (see usage note at the current entry)

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

How to use comprise in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for comprise


/ (kəmˈpraɪz) /

  1. to include; contain

  2. to constitute the whole of; consist of: her singing comprised the entertainment

Origin of comprise

C15: from French compris included, understood, from comprendre to comprehend

usage For comprise

The use of of after comprise should be avoided: the library comprises (not comprises of) 500 000 books and manuscripts

Derived forms of comprise

  • comprisable, adjective
  • comprisal, 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