comprehension

noun com·pre·hen·sion \ ˌkäm-pri-ˈhen(t)-shən , -prē- \

Definition of comprehension

1 a :the act or action of grasping with the intellect :understanding
  • children who have difficulty with comprehension of spoken language
  • What the artist actually needs is comprehension of his aims and ideals by men he respects …
  • —H. L. Mencken
b :knowledge gained by comprehending
  • tests that measure the students' comprehension in math
  • She carried on with full comprehension of the risk involved.
c :the capacity for understanding fully
  • mysteries that are beyond our comprehension
  • The war caused suffering beyond comprehension.
2 a :the act or process of comprising
  • the comprehension of all the denominations into one Church
b :the faculty or capability of including :comprehensiveness
  • the broad comprehension of the word "animal"

Examples of comprehension in a Sentence

  1. The students showed excellent reading comprehension.

  2. the president's comprehension of the current situation in the Middle East

Recent Examples of comprehension from the Web

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

Origin and Etymology of comprehension

Middle French & Latin; Middle French, from Latin comprehension-, comprehensio, from comprehendere to understand, comprise



COMPREHENSION Defined for English Language Learners

comprehension

noun

Definition of comprehension for English Language Learners

  • : ability to understand


COMPREHENSION Defined for Kids

comprehension

noun com·pre·hen·sion \ ˌkäm-pri-ˈhen-shən \

Definition of comprehension for Students

:ability to understand
  • reading comprehension
  • beyond comprehension


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to conform or adhere

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