com·​pre·​hen·​sive ˌkäm-pri-ˈhen(t)-siv How to pronounce comprehensive (audio)
: covering completely or broadly : inclusive
comprehensive examinations
comprehensive insurance
: having or exhibiting wide mental grasp
comprehensive knowledge
comprehensively adverb
comprehensiveness noun

Example Sentences

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
Recent Examples on the Web Browse our comprehensive best bedding list for sheets and pillows that fit your needs. Good Housekeeping, 24 Feb. 2023 Ahead of its arrival, the band – made up of Williams, Taylor York, and Zac Farro – shared a comprehensive list of feelings and sensations that inspired the record. Larisha Paul, Rolling Stone, 15 Feb. 2023 Every product includes a comprehensive list of ingredients and detailed VOC test data. Elizabeth Sweet, Better Homes & Gardens, 14 Feb. 2023 Here’s a comprehensive list of stories that Dallas Morning News staffers have produced regrarding the overdose of Carrollton teens -- some in middle school -- and related arrests of those accused of dealing fentanyl in recent weeks. Dallas News, 6 Feb. 2023 BetMGM Sportsbook will have competitive odds on all the games, comprehensive lists of player props, and plenty of options for futures bets. cleveland, 3 Feb. 2023 Then, pet owners are sent 28 messages over 60 days that include a comprehensive list of tools, tips and timely information for the Humane Society, online groups and partner organizations. Emily Alvarenga, San Diego Union-Tribune, 25 Jan. 2023 Handbooks often include baby announcements, guidance mid and post-maternity leave communication, a comprehensive list of return-to-work options, mother’s rooms, and additional benefits and resources available. Christine Michel Carter, Forbes, 10 Jan. 2023 Our comprehensive list includes everything from big ticket items like sofas and mattresses to smaller pieces like shoe racks and ottomans. Carly Kulzer, Peoplemag, 6 Jan. 2023 See More

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.

Word History


see comprehension

First Known Use

1614, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of comprehensive was in 1614

Dictionary Entries Near comprehensive

Cite this Entry

“Comprehensive.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Mar. 2023.

Kids Definition


com·​pre·​hen·​sive ˌkäm-pri-ˈhen(t)-siv How to pronounce comprehensive (audio)
: including much or all : full
a comprehensive course of study
a comprehensive list
comprehensiveness noun

Legal Definition


com·​pre·​hen·​sive ˌkäm-pri-ˈhen-siv How to pronounce comprehensive (audio)
: covering completely or broadly
a comprehensive insurance policy

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