Definition of comprise in US English:



[with object]
  • 1Consist of; be made up of.

    ‘the country comprises twenty states’
    • ‘The white suite comprises a corner bath, pedestal wash basin and toilet.’
    • ‘Accommodation typically comprises entrance hall, living/dining room, kitchen, bathroom, two bedrooms and rear garden.’
    • ‘The consortium comprises well-heeled individuals who enjoy tax advantages in return for their funding of the hotel projects.’
    • ‘The changes included using study sets comprising synonyms, rhymes, or unrelated words.’
    • ‘The 25-member team mostly comprises students in their early twenties.’
    • ‘A task force comprising doctors and nurses was trained and a simple disease management system was adopted.’
    • ‘It spans five city blocks, comprising twenty-seven buildings and thousands of rooms.’
    • ‘The trust was to comprise five people including his chartered accountant.’
    • ‘The cover comprises a lid and a raised rim which is recessed from the outer edge of the lid.’
    • ‘The invention comprises a plurality of cameras positioned at a certain event, such as a sporting event.’
    • ‘There is also a separate guest suite comprising two bedrooms and a bathroom, as well as a garage.’
    • ‘The remainder of the unit comprises warehouse accommodation and includes a roller shutter door.’
    • ‘Each professional was accompanied by three amateur players, comprising members of Cherry Lodge or their guests.’
    • ‘Of course, these days, the all-Ireland rugby team comprises mostly players from the south.’
    • ‘His compositions comprise mainly chamber music, including string quartets and accompanied keyboard sonatas.’
    • ‘The contingent will comprise a revolving cast, including six of the veterans profiled in the film.’
    • ‘The new board will comprise twelve members, including four worker directors.’
    • ‘In fact, a border committee comprising representatives of these three parties is said to have been formed.’
    • ‘The audience, comprising students, teachers and a couple of parents, were an enthusiastic lot.’
    consist of, be made up of, be composed of, contain, take in, embrace, encompass, incorporate
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Make up; constitute.
      ‘this single breed comprises 50 percent of the Swiss cattle population’
      ‘documents are comprised of words’
      • ‘This was because the missed cases were not typical of the cohort as a whole but comprised a subset with a lower life expectancy.’
      • ‘The author follows this pattern for the twenty chapters that comprise the second portion.’
      • ‘They can even claim the finished item to be so different it comprises a whole new record.’
      • ‘For example, women are estimated to comprise almost one-third of the current homeless population.’
      • ‘On race wheels, the core may incorporate spokes, and comprise a large portion of the wheel.’
      • ‘The cost of the hard copies of the full set of documents comprising the recent federal Budget is $110.’
      • ‘The avocado salad was comprised of iceberg lettuce, tomato, onion and a whole sliced avocado.’
      • ‘Homes receiving ad-supported cable programming now comprise more than 80 percent of all U.S. television households.’
      • ‘A fuller treatment of the documents which comprise the Treaty can be found here.’
      • ‘A dog is not the same animal as a cat just because both species are comprised of different breeds.’
      • ‘Species not native to northern North America comprise about a third of the flora.’
      • ‘The public tends to regard banks as comprising a single group.’
      • ‘Aspiring competitive athletes comprise only a portion of Cunningham's business.’
      • ‘That pattern swells to a buzzing mass of sound so dense that it seems to comprise a single melodic entity.’
      • ‘Tourism is Florida's number one industry, comprising one-fifth of the state's budgeted revenue.’
      • ‘The fins comprise only a minor portion of a shark's total body weight.’
      • ‘Ultraviolet and visible light comprise only a small portion of the wide ranging electromagnetic radiation spectrum.’
      • ‘Direct purchases by state and local governments now comprise nearly 10 percent of GDP.’
      • ‘Threats to the body of the individual, in other words, comprise challenges to the body of the family.’
      • ‘Investors are out in force and Chambers estimates they comprise approximately 65 per cent of buyers.’
      make up, constitute, form, compose
      View synonyms


Comprise primarily means ‘consist of’, as in the country comprises twenty states. It can also mean ‘constitute or make up a whole’, as in this single breed comprises 50 per cent of the Swiss cattle population. When this sense is used in the passive (as in the country is comprised of twenty states), it is more or less synonymous with the first sense (the country comprises twenty states). This usage is part of standard English, but the construction comprise of, as in the property comprises of bedroom, bathroom, and kitchen, is regarded as incorrect. On the differences between comprise and include, see include


Late Middle English: from French, ‘comprised’, feminine past participle of comprendre, from Old French comprehender (see comprehend).