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 To address this issue, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is laying the foundation for more comprehensive and consistent human capital disclosure. Bhakti Mirchandani, Forbes, 30 Aug. 2021 That would not matter, if vaccination was comprehensive and efficient and children everywhere were protected as rapidly as possible. Maryn Mckenna, Wired, 25 Aug. 2021 Here’s a comprehensive and depressing scorecard from UNICEF, which has released its first index of the risk to children from climate change. Bill Mckibben, The New Yorker, 25 Aug. 2021 Lawmakers questioned witnesses in multiple states and drew upon testimony from them and the anti-Klan trials, aiming to produce a comprehensive and definitive account of the crisis. Alex Shephard, The New Republic, 11 Aug. 2021 In that time, the bike has only seen two major revisions, with the 2021 edition being the third—and most comprehensive—to date. Peter Jackson, Robb Report, 10 Aug. 2021 The app is just as comprehensive and just as wordy. Talia Abbas, Glamour, 6 Aug. 2021 Providence: Public schools in the state are now required to teach a comprehensive African American history and heritage curriculum under legislation signed into law Friday by Gov. Daniel McKee. From Usa Today Network And Wire Reports, USA TODAY, 2 Aug. 2021 In time, as other parts of the Social Security Act, such as unemployment insurance, became more comprehensive and generous, government officials and politicians expected fewer families to require this assistance. Leslie Lenkowsky, Quartz, 17 July 2021

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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Dictionary Entries Near comprehensive



comprehensive school

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Statistics for comprehensive

Last Updated

21 Sep 2021

Cite this Entry

“Comprehensive.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Sep. 2021.

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More Definitions for comprehensive



English Language Learners Definition of comprehensive

: including many, most, or all things
: 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

More from Merriam-Webster on comprehensive

Nglish: Translation of comprehensive for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of comprehensive for Arabic Speakers


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