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


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

Middle English comprisen, from Old French compris, past participle of comprendre, to include, from Latin comprehendere, comprēndere; see comprehend.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Old French compris, past participle of comprendre, from Latin comprehendere, contr. comprendere, past participle comprehensus ("to comprehend"); see comprehend. Compare apprise, reprise, surprise.


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  • 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