Definitions

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

  • adj. So large in scope or content as to include much: a comprehensive history of the revolution.
  • adj. Marked by or showing extensive understanding: comprehensive knowledge.
  • n. An examination or series of examinations covering the entire field of major study, given in the final undergraduate or graduate year of college. Often used in the plural.
  • n. A preliminary layout showing all the elements planned for an advertisement.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Broadly or completely covering; including a large proportion of something.
  • n. A comprehensive school.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Including much; comprising many things; having a wide scope or a full view.
  • adj. Having the power to comprehend or understand many things.
  • adj. Possessing peculiarities that are characteristic of several diverse groups.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Comprehending, including, or embracing much in a comparatively small compass; containing much within narrow limits.
  • More specifically Having the quality of comprehending or including a great number of particulars or a wide extent, as of space or time; of large scope; capacious.
  • Having the power to comprehend or understand.
  • Synonyms and Broad, extensive, large, capacious.
  • In logic, intensive; relating to logical comprehension.
  • In biology, of a general or synthetic type of structure. See synthetic. 3.
  • n. An establishment in which cotton-bales are compressed for transportation.

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

  • n. an intensive examination testing a student's proficiency in some special field of knowledge
  • adj. broad in scope
  • adj. including all or everything

Etymologies

Late Latin comprehēnsīvus, conceivable, from Latin comprehēnsus, past participle of comprehendere, to comprehend; see comprehend.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Late Latin comprehensivus. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • The Bush administration tended not to use "comprehensive," a code word for peace between Israel and all its remaining Arab adversaries: the Palestinians, Syria and Lebanon.

    The Washington Times stories: Latest Headlines

  • First, we dropped the word comprehensive from the title of the bill.

    The Good Fight

  • He uses the term comprehensive immigration reform a lot more often.

    CNN Transcript Jul 14, 2008

  • As a price for this deal — which will likely require Berlin committing to lend more money to weak euro-zone states if needed — Germany wants what it calls a comprehensive agreement aimed at improving the competitiveness of euro-zone countries' economies.

    Europe Summit to Focus on Funds

  • Besides summit diplomacy, he says China will pursue country-specific, region-specific and area-specific diplomacy in what he described as a "comprehensive" and "coordinated way".

    Chinese Foreign Relations to Focus on More Active Diplomacy

  • They say APEC will move toward a more concrete vision of the Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific, including what they call comprehensive, high quality liberalization to address "next generation" trade and investment issues.

    APEC Leaders Conclude Summit, Obama Heads Home

  • Mr. Skubel has since completed what he describes as a comprehensive two-week training program and is now setting up his franchise in his hometown of Tallahassee, Fla.

    New Programs Steer Veterans, Families to Entrepreneurship

  • President Obama announcing what he calls a comprehensive new strategy for the war in Afghanistan, including thousands of additional troops.

    CNN Transcript Mar 27, 2009

  • He also in March announced what he called a comprehensive new strategy for Afghanistan and Pakistan, marking the conclusion of a careful policy review.

    CNN Transcript Oct 11, 2009

  • There was yet another sweeping plan of action today from President Obama, this one involving what he calls a comprehensive strategy for countering Al Qaeda and the Taliban in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

    CNN Transcript Mar 27, 2009

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