verb (used with object)

  1. to understand the nature or meaning of; grasp with the mind; perceive: He did not comprehend the significance of the ambassador’s remark.
  2. to take in or embrace; include; comprise: The course will comprehend all facets of Japanese culture.


  1. to perceive or understand
  2. (tr) to comprise or embrace; include

v.mid-14c., “to understand,” from Latin comprehendere “to take together, to unite; include; seize” (of catching fire or the arrest of criminals); also “to comprehend, perceive” (to seize or take in the mind), from com- “completely” (see com-) + prehendere “to catch hold of, seize” (see prehensile). Related: Comprehended; comprehending.

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