Definition of comprehensive in English:

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Pronunciation: /kɒmprɪˈhɛnsɪv/


1Including or dealing with all or nearly all elements or aspects of something: a comprehensive list of sources
More example sentences
  • From a comprehensive list of nearly 1,600 daily newspapers, 500 newspapers were selected using standard interval sampling.
  • The Guide contains a comprehensive list of businesses and services in the town and contains a very useful street map of Ballinrobe.
  • Its Explore Kodiak guide has a comprehensive list of outfitters and free activities.
1.1Of large content or scope; wide-ranging: a comprehensive collection of photographs
More example sentences
  • Its thorough research and comprehensive scope should prove invaluable for anyone seriously interested in the subject.
  • The design phase is comprehensive in scope, tackling everything from content and design to functionality and user interface.
  • The Senate Inquiry into mandatory sentencing was broad-ranging, thorough and comprehensive in terms of scope and evidence.
1.2(Of a victory or defeat) achieved or suffered by a large margin: a comprehensive victory for Swansea
More example sentences
  • Almost immediately afterwards, the Under-17s cemented victory in their own league with a comprehensive defeat of visitors Sandbach.
  • However, this was a very comprehensive victory, a complete team performance.
  • Brookes added the goal to complete a comprehensive victory for Albion.
1.3(Of motor-vehicle insurance) providing cover for most risks, including damage to the policyholder’s own vehicle.
Example sentences
  • Some cost items will differ for different vehicle types, notably comprehensive insurance, but in the main it is reasonable to use fleet size.
  • Is it possible to take out one insurance policy, preferably comprehensive, that would cover us all to drive either of the cars?
  • The good news for motorists with fully comprehensive insurance is that they are covered if their car has water damage.
2British Relating to or denoting a system of secondary education in which children of all abilities from a particular area are educated in one school: a comprehensive school
More example sentences
  • It is important that all schools see themselves, and are seen, as part of a comprehensive system of secondary education.
  • The comprehensive education system was last night seized upon as a key factor in reducing the chances of Scots born between 1967 and 1976 bettering themselves.
  • Is the comprehensive education system to blame for making these teachers' jobs practically impossible?
3 archaic Relating to understanding.


A comprehensive school: he trained as an accountant after leaving the local comprehensive when I was 14 I was at comprehensive
More example sentences
  • About 12,000 pupils went on to study at the same 400 selective grammar schools or top-rated comprehensives.
  • The majority of these producers did not attend fee-paying schools; more went to grammar schools or comprehensives.
  • City academies - independent comprehensives part-funded by the private sector - and specialist schools will not be introduced north of the Border.



Pronunciation: /kɒmprɪˈhɛnsɪvnəs/
Example sentences
  • The Penguin collection has enormous range and comprehensiveness.
  • I was absolutely staggered at his filing system, at its comprehensiveness and thoroughness.
  • In the study reported here, we assessed the completeness and comprehensiveness of documentation by care providers in the ICU of end-of-life care.


Early 17th century: from French compréhensif, -ive, from late Latin comprehensivus, from the verb comprehendere 'grasp mentally'.

Words that rhyme with comprehensive

apprehensive, coextensive, defensive, expensive, extensive, intensive, offensive, ostensive, pensive, suspensive

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: com|pre¦hen|sive

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