early 15c., "to include," from Old French compris, past participle of comprendre "to contain, comprise" (12c.), from Latin comprehendere "to take together, to unite; include; seize; to comprehend, perceive" (to seize or take in the mind), from com "with, together," here probably "completely" (seecom-) + prehendere "to catch hold of, seize," from prae- "before" (see pre-) + -hendere, from PIE root *ghend- "to seize, take." Related: Comprised; comprising. From late 15c. as "to contain," as parts making up a whole; from 1794 as "to constitute, make up, compose."