Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • transitive v. To take in the meaning, nature, or importance of; grasp. See Synonyms at apprehend.
  • transitive v. To take in as a part; include. See Synonyms at include.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • transitive v. To contain; to embrace; to include.
  • transitive v. To take in or include by construction or implication; to comprise; to imply.
  • transitive v. To take into the mind; to grasp with the understanding; to apprehend the meaning of; to understand.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To take in, include, or embrace within a certain scope; include.
  • To include within limits of any kind; especially, to include in the constitution or nature.
  • To include in meaning or in logical scope.
  • To take into the mind; grasp by the understanding; possess or have in idea; understand the force, nature, or character of; conceive; know sufficiently for a given purpose; specifically, to understand in one of the higher degrees of completeness: as, to comprehend an allusion, a word, or a person.
  • To take together; sum up.
  • Synonyms To contain.
  • Apprehend, Comprehend (see apprehend), discern, perceive, see, catch.
  • To take hold; take root; take.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. get the meaning of something
  • v. to become aware of through the senses
  • v. include in scope; include as part of something broader; have as one's sphere or territory

Etymologies

Middle English comprehenden, from Latin comprehendere : com-, com- + prehendere, to grasp; see ghend- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin comprehendere ("to grasp"), from the prefix com-, + prehendere ("to seize"). (Wiktionary)

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