"You canker blossom!" 3 Shakespearean Insults


[kuh m-prahyz] /kəmˈpraɪz/
verb (used with object), comprised, comprising.
to include or contain:
The Soviet Union comprised several socialist republics.
to consist of; be composed of:
The advisory board comprises six members.
to form or constitute:
Seminars and lectures comprised the day's activities.
be comprised of, to consist of; be composed of:
The sales network is comprised of independent outlets and chain stores.
Origin of comprise
late Middle English
1400-50; late Middle English comprisen < Middle French compris (past participle of comprendre) < Latin comprehēnsus; see comprehension
Related forms
comprisable, adjective
comprisal, noun
Can be confused
compose, comprise (see usage note at the current entry)
1. See include.
Usage note
Comprise has had an interesting history of sense development. In addition to its original senses, dating from the 15th century, “to include” and “to consist of ” (The United States of America comprises 50 states), comprise has had since the late 18th century the meaning “to form or constitute” (Fifty states comprise the United States of America). Since the late 19th century it has also been used in passive constructions with a sense synonymous with that of one of its original meanings “to consist of, be composed of ”: The United States of America is comprised of 50 states. These later uses are often criticized, but they occur with increasing frequency even in formal speech and writing. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for comprise
  • Games comprise either one or two innings, and can last five full days or be as short as a few hours.
  • The researchers comprise two distinct disciplines, with widely divergent interests and approaches.
  • Teaching load will normally comprise six courses annually with the possibility of summer teaching, if desired.
  • The heavy metals and other toxic compounds which comprise these objects end up in waterways.
  • It is probably the strongest taboo in the whole gamut of taboos that comprise political correctness.
  • The result was his lengthy treatise on predestination which fills one volume of the six that comprise his published works.
  • The seven volumes comprise seven subjects almost identical with those of the trivium and quadrivium of scholasticism.
  • The former comprise priest and chiefs as well as the dead and everything that has belonged to them.
  • Faculty and staff salaries comprise the highest proportion of the budget.
  • And although it appears to comprise three-quarters of the universe, nobody's noticed it till now.
British Dictionary definitions for comprise


verb (transitive)
to include; contain
to constitute the whole of; consist of: her singing comprised the entertainment
Derived Forms
comprisable, adjective
comprisal, noun
Usage note
The use of of after comprise should be avoided: the library comprises (not comprises of) 500 000 books and manuscripts
Word Origin
C15: from French compris included, understood, from comprendre to comprehend
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 comprise

early 15c., "to include," from Old French compris, past participle of comprendre "to contain, comprise" (12c.), from Latin comprehendere (see comprehend). Related: Comprised; comprising.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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