See more synonyms for comprehend on
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.

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 for comprehend

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

Examples from the Web for uncomprehending

Historical Examples of uncomprehending

  • The creature looked about him in a dazed, uncomprehending manner.

    The Monster Men

    Edgar Rice Burroughs

  • Note the shallow and uncomprehending notice of this picture by Fuseli.

  • He watched for the effect: Massy seemed dazed, uncomprehending.

    End of the Tether

    Joseph Conrad

  • Olive looked at him uncomprehending, but he seemed to shrink from her observation.


    Dinah Maria Craik, (AKA Dinah Maria Mulock)

  • With dull, uncomprehending gaze James Moore stared as bidden.

    Bob, Son of Battle

    Alfred Ollivant

British Dictionary definitions for uncomprehending


  1. not able to understand; puzzleda long, uncomprehending look


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

Word Origin for comprehend

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 uncomprehending

1795, from un- (1) "not" + present participle of comprehend. Related: Uncomprehendingly.



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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper