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

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
Recent Examples on the Web Schools with an under-performing student body -- as determined by the school's Every Student Succeeds Act score -- can be identified for comprehensive support and improvement by the state. Cynthia Howell, Arkansas Online, 28 Sep. 2023 While other gold necklaces from the period have been found in Spain, most of them were discovered in the 18th and 19th centuries, when comprehensive information about their provenance wasn’t recorded, as Arias tells CNN’s Jack Guy. Christopher Parker, Smithsonian Magazine, 27 Sep. 2023 Required the Department of Justice to develop a comprehensive strategy for FARA enforcement, including an examination of all of the registration exemptions contained in the statute. Ken Dilanian, NBC News, 27 Sep. 2023 More research is needed to assess effective policy interventions, but overall our study highlights the need for a comprehensive approach to a just transition that takes into account the unique challenges faced by fossil fuel workers in different regions. Morgan R. Frank, Fortune, 27 Sep. 2023 There have been constant international efforts to find common ground between the two former war foes, but no comprehensive agreement has emerged so far. Dusan Stojanovic, The Christian Science Monitor, 26 Sep. 2023 Each participant reported their exercise habits and underwent a comprehensive battery of neuropsychological tests that were designed to evaluate various dimensions of cognitive function. Brian Ho, Fortune Well, 26 Sep. 2023 Unlike a comprehensive travel insurance policy, flight insurance doesn’t cover things like emergency medical coverage or emergency evacuation. Katie Seemann, Travel + Leisure, 25 Sep. 2023 The county Board of Supervisors on Tuesday asked for a comprehensive report on the dangerous pastime, which grew in popularity during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown. Nathan Solis, Los Angeles Times, 12 Sep. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'comprehensive.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

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 3 Oct. 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

More from Merriam-Webster on comprehensive

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