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[kom-pri-hen-siv] /ˌkɒm prɪˈhɛn sɪv/
of large scope; covering or involving much; inclusive:
a comprehensive study of world affairs.
comprehending or thoroughly understanding with one's mind; having an extensive mental range or grasp, as of a particular subject or many subjects.
Insurance. covering or providing broad protection against loss.
Often, comprehensives. Also called comprehensive examination. an examination of extensive coverage given to measure a student's general progress, proficiency in his or her major field of study, or the like.
the detailed layout of an advertisement, showing placement of photographs, illustrations, copy, etc., as for presentation to a client.
Compare visual (def 7).
Origin of comprehensive
1605-15; < Late Latin comprehēnsīvus. See comprehension, -ive
Related forms
comprehensively, adverb
comprehensiveness, noun
noncomprehensive, adjective
noncomprehensively, adverb
noncomprehensiveness, noun
precomprehensive, adjective
precomprehensively, adverb
precomprehensiveness, noun
quasi-comprehensive, adjective
quasi-comprehensively, adverb
uncomprehensive, adjective
uncomprehensively, adverb
uncomprehensiveness, noun
Can be confused
comprehensible, comprehensive.
1. broad, wide, extensive, full. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for comprehensively
  • The reason for not comprehensively reading this offering is boredom with sameness.
  • The show comprehensively examines each stage in the artist's development.
  • There are large regions yet to be surveyed comprehensively and the only way this number is going to go is upwards.
  • The plan includes a variety of measures to comprehensively overhaul the mango industry.
  • Emphatically, comprehensively, the public has turned against conservatism at home and neoconservatism abroad.
  • Air cargo is not comprehensively screened because the airlines don't want to take on the expense of doing it.
  • His speech was honestly presented and dealt with this question comprehensively for all present to hear.
  • We are fortunate to live in a community that fervently and comprehensively embraces the arts.
  • Our two countries will work with other members and comprehensively follow through on the outcomes of the various summits.
  • Enthusiasts and researchers have experimented with comprehensively logging their lives for years.
British Dictionary definitions for comprehensively


of broad scope or content; including all or much
(of a car insurance policy) providing protection against most risks, including third-party liability, fire, theft, and damage
having the ability to understand
of, relating to, or being a comprehensive school
Derived Forms
comprehensively, adverb
comprehensiveness, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for comprehensively



"containing much," 1610s, from French comprehénsif, from Late Latin comprehensivus, from comprehens-, past participle stem of Latin comprehendere (see comprehend). Related: Comprehensively (mid-15c.); comprehensiveness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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