transitive verb (comprised; comprising) Etymology: Middle English, from Anglo-French compris, past participle of comprendre, from Latin comprehendere Date: 15th century 1. to include especially within a particular scope <
civilization as Lenin used the term would then certainly have comprised the changes that are now associated in our minds with “developed” rather than “developing” states — Times Literary Supplement
2. to be made up of <
a vast installation, comprising fifty buildings — Jane Jacobs
3. compose, constitute <
a misconception as to what comprises a literary generationWilliam Styron
about 8 percent of our military forces are comprised of women — Jimmy Carter
Usage: Although it has been in use since the late 18th century, sense 3 is still attacked as wrong. Why it has been singled out is not clear, but until comparatively recent times it was found chiefly in scientific or technical writing rather than belles lettres. Our current evidence shows a slight shift in usage: sense 3 is somewhat more frequent in recent literary use than the earlier senses. You should be aware, however, that if you use sense 3 you may be subject to criticism for doing so, and you may want to choose a safer synonym such as compose or make up.

New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.


Look at other dictionaries:

  • comprise — 1. Comprise is often confused with compose, consist, and constitute. All four words are used to describe how parts make up a whole, but they start from different ends of the equation. Comprise has the whole as its subject and its parts as the… …   Modern English usage

  • Comprise — Com*prise , 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. [1913 Webster] Comprise much matter in few words. Hocker …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • comprise — I verb aggregate, amount to, be composed of, be formed of, be made of, consist of, constitute, contain, embody, embrace, encapsulate, encompass, hold, include, incorporate, involve, subsume, total associated concepts: comprising a cause of action …   Law dictionary

  • comprise — ► VERB 1) be made up of; consist of. 2) (also be comprised of) make up; constitute. USAGE Traditionally, comprise means ‘consist of’ and should not be used to mean ‘constitute or make up (a whole)’. However, a passive use of comprise is becoming… …   English terms dictionary

  • comprise — early 15c., to include, from O.Fr. compris, pp. of comprendre to contain, comprise (12c.), from L. comprehendere (see COMPREHEND (Cf. comprehend)). Related: Comprised; comprising …   Etymology dictionary

  • comprise — UK US /kəmˈpraɪz/ verb [T] ► to have as parts or members, or to be those parts or members: »Teams are created to work on one specific project, and are comprised of people who have very different skills. »Manufacturing comprises 14% of the state s …   Financial and business terms

  • comprise — [v] make up, consist of add up to, amount to, be composed of, be contained in, compass, compose, comprehend, constitute, contain, cover, embody, embrace, encircle, enclose, encompass, engross, form, hold, include, incorporate, involve, span,… …   New thesaurus

  • comprise — [kəm prīz′] vt. comprised, comprising [ME comprisen < OFr compris, pp. of comprendre < L comprehendere,COMPREHEND] 1. to include; contain 2. to consist of; be composed of [a nation comprising thirteen states] 3. to make up; form; constitute …   English World dictionary

  • comprise — verb (not in progressive) formal 1 (linking verb) to consist of particular parts, groups etc: The house comprises 2 bedrooms, a kitchen, and a living room. | be comprised of: The city s population is largely comprised of Asians and Europeans. 2… …   Longman dictionary of contemporary English

  • Comprise — Wikipedia does not have an encyclopedia article for Comprise (search results). You may want to read Wiktionary s entry on Comprise instead.wiktionary:Special:Search/Comprise …   Wikipedia

  • comprise — /kəmˈpraɪz / (say kuhm pruyz) verb (t) (comprised, comprising) 1. to comprehend; include; contain: an analysis comprising all the data to hand. 2. to consist of; be composed of: *Mr Namaliu said the security forces, which comprise troops, police… …   Australian English dictionary

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”