comprise
Pronunciation
  • IPA: /kəmˈpɹaɪz/
Verb

comprise (comprises, present participle comprising; past and past participle comprised)

  1. To be made up of; to consist of (especially a comprehensive list of parts). [from earlier 15thc.]
    The whole comprises the parts.
    The parts are comprised by the whole.
    However, the passive voice of comprise must be employed carefully to make sense. Phrases such as "animals and cages are comprised by zoos" or "pitchers, catchers, and fielders are comprised by baseball teams" highlight the difficulty. See usage below.
  2. To contain or embrace. [from earlier 15thc.]
    Our committee comprises a president, secretary, treasurer and five other members.
  3. (sometimes, proscribed, usually in the passive) To compose, to constitute. See usage note below.
    A team is comprised of its members.
    The members comprise the team.
    • 1657, Isaac Barrow, Data (Euclid) (translation), Prop. XXX
      "Seeing then the angles comprised of equal right lines are equal, we have found the angle FDE equal to the angle ABC."
    • 1914, Louis Joseph Vance, chapter I, in Nobody, New York, N.Y.: George H[enry] Doran Company, published 1915, OCLC 40817384 ↗:
      Three chairs of the steamer type, all maimed, comprised the furniture of this roof-garden, with (by way of local colour) on one of the copings a row of four red clay flower-pots filled with sun-baked dust from which gnarled and rusty stalks thrust themselves up like withered elfin limbs.
  4. (patent law) To include, contain, or be made up of, defining the minimum elements, whether essential or inessential, to define an invention. ("Open-ended", doesn't limit to the items listed; cf. compose, which is "closed" and limits to the items listed.)
Synonyms Related terms Translations Translations Translations
  • French: être composé de
  • Portuguese: compor
  • Russian: содержа́ть



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