Dictionary > English Dictionary > Definition, synonym and antonym of comprise
Meaning of comprise by Wiktionary Dictionary



    From Old French compris, past participle of comprendre, from Latin comprehendere, contr. comprendere, past participle comprehensus ( “to comprehend” ); see comprehend. Compare apprise, reprise, surprise .


    • IPA: /kəmˈpɹaɪz/, X-SAMPA: /k@m"praIz/


    comprise ( third-person singular simple present comprises present participle comprising, simple past and past participle comprised )

    1. To be made up of; to consist of ( especially a comprehensive list of parts ). [from earlier 15th c.]
      The whole comprises the parts .
      The parts are comprised by the whole .
    2. To include, contain or embrace. [from earlier 15th c.]
      Our committee comprises a president, secretary, treasurer and five other members .
    3. ( informal, considered incorrect, usually in passive ) To compose, to constitute. See usage note below .
      A team is comprised of its members .
      The members comprise the team .
    4. ( patents ) To include, contain or embrace, but not implying an exhaustive list .

    Usage notes

    The most recent usages, compose and constitute, whereby the passive form effectively means “the members comprise the team”, are usually informal and often considered incorrect. By classical definition, a team comprises its members, whereas the members compose the team. It is not proper to use comprise in place of compose. With regard to journalistic writing, the Associated Press Stylebook maintains this distinction. These usages are, however, quite common, with the "compose" variation being more common than the "constitute" one .

    According to Webster's Dictionary, the usage dates back to the late 18th century, when it was usually found in technical writing. Webster's indicates that this usage is becoming increasingly common in nontechnical literature, while American Heritage Dictionary and Random House Dictionary state that it is an increasingly frequent and accepted usage .

    The use of "of" with an active use of the verb is unequivocally incorrect ( see of: composition ), thus "the UK comprises of four countries" and "a round comprising of four games" are incorrect .

    Related terms

    External links

    • comprise in Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913
    • comprise in The Century Dictionary, The Century Co., New York, 1911

Explanation of comprise by Wordnet Dictionary


    1. form or compose

    2. These few men comprise his entire army
    3. include or contain

    4. A totally new idea is comprised in this paper
    5. be composed of

    6. The land he conquered comprised several provinces

    Definition of comprise by GCIDE Dictionary


    1. Comprise v. t. [imp. & p. p. Comprised ; p. pr. & vb. n. Comprising.] [From F. compris, comprise, p. p. of comprendre, L. comprehendere. See Comprehend.] To comprehend; to include.

      Comprise much matter in few words. Hocker.

      Friendship does two souls in one comprise. Roscommon.

      Syn. -- To embrace; include; comprehend; contain; encircle; inclose; involve; imply.