Definition of comprehension in English:

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Pronunciation: /kɒmprɪˈhɛnʃ(ə)n/


[mass noun]
1The ability to understand something: some won’t have the least comprehension of what I’m trying to do the comprehension of spoken language
More example sentences
  • Since you are striving for something that is basically beyond your comprehension and ability, you cannot trust yourself to do all the right things to get you there.
  • It is simply beyond a tourist's comprehension to understand why such ancient monuments, which do not require maintenance on a weekly basis, are closed once a week.
  • When reading comprehension is assessed through writing, these difficulties are compounded.
understanding, ability to understand, grasp, grip, conception, apprehension, cognition, cognizance, ken, knowledge, awareness, perception, discernment;
1.1British The setting of questions on a set text to test understanding, as a school exercise: [as modifier]: comprehension exercises
More example sentences
  • The comprehensions and the questions on them were lovely.
  • She said the comprehensions at ordinary level were a bit difficult and the grammar was as hard as at higher level but the topics should have been of interest to students.
  • The comprehensions were challenging but in the composition section the varied choice of essay titles in general satisfied the students.
2 archaic Inclusion.
2.1 historical The inclusion of Nonconformists within the Established Church of England (as proposed in the 17th to 19th centuries but not adopted).


Late Middle English: from French compréhension or Latin comprehensio(n-), from the verb comprehendere 'seize, comprise' (see comprehend).

Words that rhyme with comprehension

abstention, apprehension, ascension, attention, circumvention, condescension, contention, contravention, convention, declension, detention, dimension, dissension, extension, gentian, hypertension, hypotension, intention, intervention, invention, mention, misapprehension, obtention, pension, prehension, prevention, recension, retention, subvention, supervention, suspension, tension

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: com|pre¦hen|sion

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