Definition of comprise in English:


Line breaks: com|prise
Pronunciation: /kəmˈprʌɪz


[with object]


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


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).

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