com·​pre·​hen·​sive | \ ˌkäm-pri-ˈhen(t)-siv How to pronounce comprehensive (audio) , -prē- \

Definition of comprehensive

1 : covering completely or broadly : inclusive comprehensive examinations comprehensive insurance
2 : having or exhibiting wide mental grasp comprehensive knowledge

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Other Words from comprehensive

comprehensively adverb
comprehensiveness noun

Examples of comprehensive in a Sentence

Natalie's every move was photographed, a documentation of a happy childhood as comprehensive as it was false. — John Gregory Dunne, New York Review of Books, 15 Jan. 2004 Inevitably, though, in so comprehensive an account, some important events and themes are cursorily checked off … — Isabel Fonseca, Times Literary Supplement, 29 Jan. 1993 Walcott proceeded to misinterpret these fossils in a comprehensive and thoroughly consistent manner … — Stephen Jay Gould, Wonderful Life, 1989 a comprehensive overview of European history since the French Revolution a comprehensive listing of all the paintings generally attributed to the Dutch artist Rembrandt
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Recent Examples on the Web The new restrictions make up China’s most comprehensive plastics regulation since 2008. Stephanie Yang, WSJ, "The Last Straw? China Tries to Trash Single-Use Plastic," 21 Jan. 2020 Observers abroad say that fire-safety rules for housebuilders and home-fixers are perhaps the world’s most comprehensive. The Economist, "A burning question Why was Australia’s government so ill-prepared for the bushfires?," 11 Jan. 2020 Lamb has since invited Tenzing out to Miami this December to participate in Art Basel, North America's most comprehensive international contemporary art fair. Madeline Mitchell,, "'Are you Owen from Cincinnati?' 17-year-old Blink muralist gains national recognition," 7 Jan. 2020 The Courier Journal's reporting has been picked up by news media across the United States and around the world, described by some as the most comprehensive reporting yet detailing CJNG's extensive reach into small-town America. Mike Trautmann, The Courier-Journal, "From El Mencho to Bevin's pardons: 10 Courier Journal investigations that defined 2019," 31 Dec. 2019 Administration officials say refugee applicants are subject to the strictest, most comprehensive background checks for any group seeking to come to the United States., "LINCOLN, Neb. — An executive order by President Trump giving states the right to refuse to take refugees is putting Republican governors in an uncomfortable position.," 23 Dec. 2019 California’s Consumer Legal Remedies Act, one of the most comprehensive sets of consumer protections in the US, already has protections against false advertising that include misrepresenting the source of goods, for instance. Marc Bain, Quartz at Work, "What can we do when supposedly ethical companies break their promises?," 16 Dec. 2019 An argument over gas stations and taverns almost prevented the Carroll County commissioners from adopting parts of their comprehensive rezoning proposal Thursday. Mary Grace Keller,, "After tense debate, Carroll County commissioners adopt comprehensive rezoning — with amendment on gas stations," 12 Dec. 2019 The Trust for Public Land’s ParkScore index, which measures such parameters as a city’s park acreage, investment, amenities and access is considered the most comprehensive evaluation of park quality in the nation. Richard A. Marini,, "San Antonio’s newest parks full of amenities like dog parks, skate parks, water parks and more," 10 Dec. 2019

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

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First Known Use of comprehensive

1614, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for comprehensive

see comprehension

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Time Traveler for comprehensive

Time Traveler

The first known use of comprehensive was in 1614

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Statistics for comprehensive

Last Updated

26 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Comprehensive.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 26 January 2020.

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More Definitions for comprehensive


How to pronounce comprehensive (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of comprehensive

: including many, most, or all things
British : of or relating to a comprehensive school


com·​pre·​hen·​sive | \ ˌkäm-pri-ˈhen-siv How to pronounce comprehensive (audio) \

Kids Definition of comprehensive

: including much : inclusive a comprehensive course of study a comprehensive description


com·​pre·​hen·​sive | \ ˌkäm-pri-ˈhen-siv How to pronounce comprehensive (audio) \

Legal Definition of comprehensive

: covering completely or broadly a comprehensive insurance policy

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Comments on comprehensive

What made you want to look up comprehensive? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to express in a more acceptable way

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