AskDefine | Define comprehend

Dictionary Definition



1 get the meaning of something; "Do you comprehend the meaning of this letter?" [syn: get the picture, savvy, dig, grasp, compass, apprehend]
2 to become aware of through the senses; "I could perceive the ship coming over the horizon" [syn: perceive]
3 include in scope; include as part of something broader; have as one's sphere or territory; "This group encompasses a wide range of people from different backgrounds"; "this should cover everyone in the group" [syn: embrace, encompass, cover]

User Contributed Dictionary



From comprehendere, "to grasp", from the prefix com-, + prehendere, "to seize".


  1. to cover, include, or contain
    This book comprehends all the topics that are relevant for you.
    1776: 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 : The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire : Edward Gibbon. This edition Penguin 2000. p. 9
  2. to understand or grasp fully and thoroughly.


to cover
to understand

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

absorb, accept, admit, appreciate, apprehend, assimilate, be acquainted with, be apprised of, be aware of, be cognizant of, be conscious of, be conversant with, be informed, be with one, catch, catch on, cognize, compass, complete, comprise, conceive, conceptualize, contain, count in, cover, dig, digest, discern, embody, embrace, encircle, enclose, encompass, envisage, envision, fathom, fill, fill in, fill out, follow, get, get hold of, get the drift, get the idea, get the picture, grasp, have, have information about, have it taped, have knowledge of, hold, include, incorporate, involve, ken, know, learn, make out, master, number among, occupy, perceive, possess, prehend, read, realize, receive, reckon among, reckon in, reckon with, recognize, savvy, see, seize, seize the meaning, sense, subsume, take, take in, take into account, take into consideration, take up, twig, understand, wot, wot of
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