Definition of comprehension in English:



  • 1The action or capability of understanding something.

    ‘some won't have the least comprehension of what I'm trying to do’
    ‘the comprehension of spoken language’
    • ‘Both types of curriculum encompass listening comprehension, speaking, reading, writing, and grammar components.’
    • ‘Do not mistake my accent for poor comprehension of your language.’
    • ‘The passage of time and the limits of the written record have rendered full comprehension unobtainable.’
    • ‘Letter matching was also found to predict significantly reading comprehension in later elementary school.’
    • ‘When reading comprehension is assessed through writing, these difficulties are compounded.’
    • ‘Bells and whistles don't necessarily improve comprehension, says Mathie.’
    • ‘Instead of that sixth-grade math class, I think maybe Murray needs a few remedial lessons in verbal comprehension.’
    • ‘The look changed to one of dawning comprehension and the guard turned to shout a warning.’
    • ‘How do I decode such an obtuse dialect with my mere mortal comprehension of the English language?’
    • ‘To enhance comprehension, workbooks contain lessons but not headings or titles.’
    • ‘What makes the red heifer so interesting is that it is beyond human comprehension.’
    • ‘Success in the math lesson was not dependent on the students' full comprehension of mathematical problems or questions.’
    • ‘Her mother looked at her for a moment before comprehension dawned on her face.’
    • ‘It is simply beyond a tourist's comprehension to understand why such ancient monuments, which do not require maintenance on a weekly basis, are closed once a week.’
    • ‘According to Wolf and Bowers, they may also show problems in reading comprehension.’
    • ‘Despite the anxiety that went with less than full comprehension, he took the job.’
    • ‘I admit it is a big challenge for my English listening comprehension.’
    • ‘Since you are striving for something that is basically beyond your comprehension and ability, you cannot trust yourself to do all the right things to get you there.’
    • ‘On the other hand, reading the texts from two different perspectives may improve comprehension.’
    • ‘And how such reading exercises would help genuine poets replenish their language defies comprehension.’
    understanding, ability to understand, grasp, grip, conception, apprehension, cognition, cognizance, ken, knowledge, awareness, perception, discernment
    View synonyms
  • 2archaic Inclusion.


Late Middle English: from French compréhension or Latin comprehensio(n-), from the verb comprehendere seize, comprise (see comprehend).