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comprehend Line breaks: com|pre¦hend
Pronunciation: /kɒmprɪˈhɛnd/

Definition of comprehend in English:


[with object]
1 [often with negative] Grasp mentally; understand: he couldn’t comprehend her reasons for marrying Lovat [with clause]: I simply couldn’t comprehend what had happened
More example sentences
  • There's something else afoot, something I will never understand or comprehend.
  • Still, so much time is spent on trying to rock the boat, in trying to understand and comprehend.
  • I understood and comprehended what would take most children years to take in and be able to use.
realize, perceive, discern, divine;
informal work out, figure out, make head or tail of, get one's head around, wrap one's mind round, take on board, get a fix on, get the hang of, get the drift of, catch on to, latch on to, tumble to, crack, dig, get, see the light, get the picture
British informal twig, suss out, suss
North American informal savvy
2 formal Include, comprise, or encompass: a divine order comprehending all men


Middle English: from Old French comprehender, or Latin comprehendere, from com- 'together' + prehendere 'grasp'.

  • prison from Old English:

    This comes via Old French from Latin prehendere ‘to seize’. Prehendere is a rich source of English words, being found, amongst many, in apprehend (late 16th century), comprehend (late 16th century); prehensile (late 18th century); and reprehensible (Late Middle English). A shortening of prehendere lies behind praedari ‘plunder’ and praeda ‘booty’, which lie behind depredation (Late Middle English); predatory [L16]; and prey (Middle English).

Words that rhyme with comprehend

amend, append, apprehend, ascend, attend, befriend, bend, blend, blende, commend, condescend, contend, defriend, depend, emend, end, expend, extend, fend, forfend, friend, impend, interdepend, lend, mend, misapprehend, misspend, offend, on-trend, Oostende, Ostend, perpend, portend, rend, reprehend, scrag-end, send, spend, subtend, suspend, tail end, tend, transcend, trend, underspend, unfriend, upend, vend, weekend, wend
Definition of comprehend in:
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