verb com·pre·hend \ˌkäm-pri-ˈhend, -prē-\

: to understand (something, such as a difficult or complex subject)

Full Definition of COMPREHEND

transitive verb
:  to grasp the nature, significance, or meaning of <unable to comprehend what has happened>
:  to contain or hold within a total scope, significance, or amount <philosophy's scope comprehends the truth of everything which man may understand — H. O. Taylor>
:  to include by construction or implication <does not prudence comprehend all the virtues? — Thomas B. Silver>
com·pre·hend·ible \-ˈhen-də-bəl\ adjective


Middle English, from Anglo-French comprendre, comprehendre, from Latin comprehendere, from com- + prehendere to grasp — more at get
First Known Use: 14th century

Synonym Discussion of COMPREHEND

understand, comprehend, appreciate mean to have a clear or complete idea of. understand and comprehend are very often interchangeable. understand may, however, stress the fact of having attained a firm mental grasp of something <orders that were fully understood and promptly obeyed>. comprehend may stress the process of coming to grips with something intellectually <I have trouble comprehending your reasons for doing this>. appreciate implies a just evaluation or judgment of a thing's value or nature <failed to appreciate the risks involved>.

include, comprehend, embrace, involve mean to contain within as part of the whole. include suggests the containment of something as a constituent, component, or subordinate part of a larger whole <the price of dinner includes dessert>. comprehend implies that something comes within the scope of a statement or definition <his system comprehends all history>. embrace implies a gathering of separate items within a whole <her faith embraces both Christian and non-Christian beliefs>. involve suggests inclusion by virtue of the nature of the whole, whether by being its natural or inevitable consequence <the new job involves a lot of detail>.
COMPREHEND Defined for Kids


verb com·pre·hend \ˌkäm-pri-ˈhend\

Definition of COMPREHEND for Kids

:  to understand fully
:  to take in :  include


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