comprehend

verb
com·​pre·​hend | \ ˌkäm-pri-ˈhend How to pronounce comprehend (audio) , -prē- \
comprehended; comprehending; comprehends

Definition of comprehend

transitive verb

1 : to grasp the nature, significance, or meaning of unable to comprehend what has happened
2 : to contain or hold within a total scope, significance, or amount … philosophy's scope comprehends the truth of everything which man may understand …— Henry Osborn Taylor
3 : to include by construction or implication Does not prudence comprehend all the virtues?— Thomas B. Silver Our civilization comprehends great variety and complexity …— Perry Meisel

Other Words from comprehend

comprehendible \ ˌkäm-​pri-​ˈhen-​də-​bəl How to pronounce comprehend (audio) , -​prē-​ \ adjective

Choose the Right Synonym for comprehend

understand, comprehend, appreciate mean to have a clear or complete idea of. understand and comprehend are very often interchangeable. understand may, however, stress the fact of having attained a firm mental grasp of something. orders that were fully understood and promptly obeyed comprehend may stress the process of coming to grips with something intellectually. I have trouble comprehending your reasons for doing this appreciate implies a just evaluation or judgment of a thing's value or nature. failed to appreciate the risks involved

include, comprehend, embrace, involve mean to contain within as part of the whole. include suggests the containment of something as a constituent, component, or subordinate part of a larger whole. the price of dinner includes dessert comprehend implies that something comes within the scope of a statement or definition. his system comprehends all history embrace implies a gathering of separate items within a whole. her faith embraces both Christian and non-Christian beliefs involve suggests inclusion by virtue of the nature of the whole, whether by being its natural or inevitable consequence. the new job involves a lot of detail

Did you know?

To comprehend is to mentally grasp something's complete nature or meaning. Comprehend is thus often a bit stronger than understand: for example, you may understand the instructions in a handbook without completely comprehending their purpose. Comprehend's second meaning is much less common. Using that sense of the word, we could say that good manners comprehends (that is, includes) more than simple table etiquette, for example, or that true courage comprehends more than just physical showing off. And something comprehensive includes a great deal: so a comprehensive exam, for instance, includes all the material that was studied in the course.

Examples of comprehend in a Sentence

the age at which children can comprehend the difference between right and wrong it took me a while to comprehend algebra
Recent Examples on the Web Those are decent times, and pretty incredible for a kid who doesn't comprehend what winning means. Richard Obert, The Arizona Republic, 13 Apr. 2022 Hearing it for first time ever in reference to him had been too difficult to comprehend at the time. oregonlive, 19 Apr. 2022 But the scope of the situation can be difficult to comprehend. Kathleen Toner, CNN, 14 Apr. 2022 The numbers of dead and wounded are difficult to comprehend. NBC News, 4 Apr. 2022 The numbers of dead and wounded are difficult to comprehend. Jessica Flores, San Francisco Chronicle, 3 Apr. 2022 The prospect of combat troops potentially fighting house-to-house in cities and villages across Ukraine, a nation of 41 million people, is difficult to comprehend today. Marc Fisher, Anchorage Daily News, 23 Feb. 2022 The Ethiopian conflict remains difficult to comprehend, as there are many twists-and-turns in the ongoing saga. Rick Helfenbein, Forbes, 6 Dec. 2021 Beyond the human toll, the physical devastation has also been nearly impossible to comprehend. BostonGlobe.com, 23 Aug. 2021 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'comprehend.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of comprehend

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for comprehend

Middle English, from Anglo-French comprendre, comprehendre, from Latin comprehendere, from com- + prehendere to grasp — more at get

Learn More About comprehend

Time Traveler for comprehend

Time Traveler

The first known use of comprehend was in the 14th century

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Dictionary Entries Near comprehend

compregnate

comprehend

comprehendingly

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Statistics for comprehend

Last Updated

9 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Comprehend.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/comprehend. Accessed 17 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for comprehend

comprehend

verb
com·​pre·​hend | \ ˌkäm-pri-ˈhend How to pronounce comprehend (audio) \
comprehended; comprehending

Kids Definition of comprehend

1 : to understand fully
2 : to take in : include

More from Merriam-Webster on comprehend

Nglish: Translation of comprehend for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of comprehend for Arabic Speakers

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