Try Our Apps


Supposedly vs. Supposably


[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.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for comprised
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The timber-land of Linn, occupying half its area, is comprised in three belts of dense forest, half of which is red fir.

    Two Years in Oregon Wallis Nash
  • Books on Archery, Fencing, and Duelling are also comprised by this heading.

    The Book-Hunter at Home P. B. M. Allan
  • One should notice what a range of interest is comprised in these four stories.

    St. Nicholas George H. McKnight
  • All those not comprised in the foregoing are at liberty to serve as Volunteers.

    The Philippine Islands John Foreman
  • They are comprised in two slender volumes, that above mentioned, and one of 1911, published while he was still at Cambridge.

British Dictionary definitions for comprised


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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for comprised



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
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for comprise

Some English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for comprised

Scrabble Words With Friends