Definition of comprise in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /kəmˈprʌɪz/


[with object]
1Consist of; be made up of: the country comprises twenty states
More example sentences
  • The new board will comprise twelve members, including four worker directors.
  • The trust was to comprise five people including his chartered accountant.
  • The remainder of the unit comprises warehouse accommodation and includes a roller shutter door.
1.1Make up or constitute (a whole): this single breed comprises 50 per cent of the Swiss cattle population (be comprised of) documents are comprised of words
More example sentences
  • They can even claim the finished item to be so different it comprises a whole new record.
  • This was because the missed cases were not typical of the cohort as a whole but comprised a subset with a lower life expectancy.
  • A dog is not the same animal as a cat just because both species are comprised of different breeds.


1 Comprise primarily means ‘consist of’, as in the country comprises twenty states. It can also mean ‘constitute or make up a whole’, as in this single breed comprises 50 per cent of the Swiss cattle population. When this sense is used in the passive (as in the country is comprised of twenty states), it is more or less synonymous with the first sense ( the country comprises twenty states). This usage is part of standard English, but the construction comprise of, as in the property comprises of bedroom, bathroom, and kitchen, is regarded as incorrect. 2 On the differences between comprise and include, see include (usage).


Late Middle English: from French, 'comprised', feminine past participle of comprendre, from Old French comprehender (see comprehend).

Words that rhyme with comprise

advise, apprise, apprize, arise, assize, capsize, chastise, demise, despise, devise, downsize, excise, flies, guise, incise, low-rise, misprize, outsize, previse, prise, prize, remise, revise, rise, size, surmise, surprise, uprise, wise

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: com|prise

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.