Definitions

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

  • transitive v. To consist of; be composed of: "The French got ... French Equatorial Africa, comprising several territories” ( Alex Shoumatoff).
  • transitive v. To include; contain: "The word 'politics' ... comprises, in itself, a difficult study of no inconsiderable magnitude” ( Charles Dickens). See Synonyms at include.
  • transitive v. Usage Problem To compose; constitute: "Put together the slaughterhouses, the steel mills, the freight yards ... that comprised the city” ( Saul Bellow).

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To compose, to constitute. See usage note below.
  • v. To include, contain or embrace, but not implying an exhaustive list.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • transitive v. To comprehend; to include.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To comprehend; contain; include; embrace: as, the German empire comprises a number of separate states.
  • To press together; gather into a small compass; compress.
  • Synonyms To embrace, embody, inclose, encircle.

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

  • v. be composed of
  • v. include or contain; have as a component
  • v. form or compose

Etymologies

Middle English comprisen, from Old French compris, past participle of comprendre, to include, from Latin comprehendere, comprēndere; see comprehend.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Old French compris, past participle of comprendre, from Latin comprehendere, contr. comprendere, past participle comprehensus ("to comprehend"); see comprehend. Compare apprise, reprise, surprise. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • The coins comprise a diverse cross section of coins in circulation at the first part of the 19th Century, including an important group of exceptional quality southern mint gold coins.

    NCS Conserves Coins Recovered from the Steamship New York : Coin Collecting News

  • I like a man who knows how to use the word comprise correctly.

    Archive 2005-01-01

  • When combined with missed furniture pickup the calls comprise more than one quarter of all complaint-and-service-related calls to the city's info hotline.

    Thestar.com - Home Page

  • Chalcedon (Concil.tom. iv.p. 761 — 2071) comprehend those of Ephesus, (p. 890 — 1189,) which again comprise the synod of Constantinople under Flavian, (p. 930 — 1072;) and at requires some attention to disengage this double involution.

    The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire

  • The financial terms comprise an up-front payment of $500 million to the Hancock group, led by billionaire Australian businesswoman Gina Rinehart , and the rest in phases--$200 million one year after the completion of the deal and $560 million on the financial closure of the coal project, anticipated to be in 2012.

    GVK Raises Loan for Hancock Deal

  • At a time when subtle, literate film comedies seem like an endangered species at best, these titles comprise a welcome breath of rarefied air.

    John Farr: Laughing in Style: That Special 'Lubitsch Touch'

  • Like a giant slush pile of digitally liberated books, these titles comprise gems of undiscovered brilliance alongside works that might make your eyes bleed.

    Mark Coker: Why E-Books are Hot and Getting Hotter

  • His literary productions, all in Latin, comprise commentaries on the Psalms, on the Apocalypse, on the Gospels of Sundays and Festivals, on the Creed of St. Athanasius, on the Lord's Prayer. and a great number of sermons and homilies, treatises, and devotional writings, such as "De

    The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume 5: Diocese-Fathers of Mercy

  • Primitive terms comprise variables and constants, whereas compound terms are formed by combining terms.

    Combinatory Logic

  • A democracy that cannot produce a comprise is a failing system and will undoubtedly have an extreme, adverse effect on our society.

Wordnik is becoming a not-for-profit! Read our announcement here.

Comments

Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • Comprise Simple rules for comprise are: the whole comprises the parts. Comprise never takes "of."

    October 26, 2010

  • be made up of : sth is made up of several parts
    be composed of : sth is composed of several parts
    consist of : sth consits of several parts
    comprise : sth comprises several parts
    include : sth includes several parts

    March 11, 2010