English edit

Etymology edit

From Middle English comprehenden, from Latin comprehendere (to grasp), from the prefix com- + prehendere (to seize).

Pronunciation edit

  • (UK) IPA(key): /kɒmpɹɪˈhɛnd/
  • (US) IPA(key): /kɑmpɹɪˈhɛnd/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ɛnd

Verb edit

comprehend (third-person singular simple present comprehends, present participle comprehending, simple past and past participle comprehended)

  1. (now rare) To include, comprise; to contain. [from 14th c.]
    • 1596, Edmund Spenser, “Book IV, Canto I”, in The Faerie Queene. [], London: [] [John Wolfe] for William Ponsonbie, →OCLC:
      And lothly mouth, unmeete a mouth to bee, / That nought but gall and venim comprehended […].
    • 1776, Edward Gibbon, The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Penguin, published 2009, page 9:
      In the second century of the Christian Æra, the empire of Rome comprehended the fairest part of the earth, and the most civilized portion of mankind.
  2. To understand or grasp fully and thoroughly. [from 14th c.]

Related terms edit

Translations edit

French edit

Verb edit


  1. third-person singular present indicative of comprehendre