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

In Australia, the fast adoption of PrEP is just the latest step in a comprehensive response that dates back to the 1980s. New York Times, "How Australia Could Almost Eradicate H.I.V. Transmissions," 10 July 2019 In addition, a permanent replacement site is necessary because the city is in the process of selling the stadium and surrounding acreage to San Diego State as part of a comprehensive redevelopment plan approved by city voters last fall. San Diego Union-Tribune, "County preparing to build $30M police vehicle training course in Otay," 10 July 2019 But smaller clinics may not have the time or resources for a comprehensive health or debt-fighting plan., "Oregon tackles the veterinary suicide crisis, starting with the stigma," 10 July 2019 First-mover deals with Twitter, Yahoo and now Amazon will turn into more substantive and comprehensive partnerships in years to come; that is inevitable. Andrew Brandt,, "Youth Appeal Is a Bigger NFL Business Concern Than Protests or Concussions," 9 July 2019 The United States can’t simply adopt the kind of comprehensive national curriculum that France once had (and that countries outperforming us on international tests still have). Natalie Wexler, The Atlantic, "Elementary Education Has Gone Terribly Wrong," 9 July 2019 But Lamont is open to various ideas, including a modest cut in the state income tax as part of a comprehensive tolls package. Christopher Keating,, "Gov. Ned Lamont: ‘No idea’ where legislature stands on tolls; vote not expected soon," 9 July 2019 The exhibition is not a comprehensive exploration of all aspects of Amin’s regime. Meilan Solly, Smithsonian, "Thousands of Newly Unearthed Photographs Document Ugandans’ Life Under Idi Amin," 5 July 2019 Among the companies that even had a visible policy, some boiled down to a vague sentence or two though Hazel notes that 23andMe posted a far more comprehensive if at times difficult to comprehend policy. Edward C. Baig, USA TODAY, "DNA testing can share all your family secrets. Are you ready for that?," 4 July 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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Statistics for comprehensive

Last Updated

13 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for comprehensive

The first known use of comprehensive was in 1614

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More Definitions for comprehensive



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).


an act or instance of editing or removing

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