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November 10, 2013

Word of the Day

  • comprise
  • audio pronunciation
  • \kum-PRYZE\
  • DEFINITION

verb

1
: to include especially within a particular scope
2
: to be made up of
3
: compose, constitute
  • EXAMPLES

The city developers' plans include a massive recreational complex that comprises a concert hall, four restaurants, two hotels and a theater.

"One section of the report … concluded that cars built 10 or more years ago now comprise almost 40 percent of the U.S. vehicle fleet." — From an article by Ken Leiser in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, October 5, 2013

  • DID YOU KNOW?

"Comprise" has undergone a substantial shift in usage since first appearing in English in the 15th century. For many years usage commentators insisted that the usage of "comprise" meaning "to be made up of" (as shown in our first example) was correct and "comprise" meaning "to make up," as in our second example and in phrases like "the players who comprise the team" was not. (This disputed use is often used in passive constructions such as, "The album is comprised of ten classic songs.") Until relatively recently, this less-favored sense appeared mostly in scientific writing, but current evidence shows that it is now somewhat more common in general use than the word's other meanings.

Test Your Memory: What is the meaning of "nidus," our Word of the Day from October 9? The answer is …

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