Comprise vs Consist – What’s the difference?

Comprise vs Consist - What's the difference?
Comprise is a synonym of consist. As verbs the difference between comprise and consist is that comprise is to be made up of; to consist of (especially a comprehensive list of parts) while consist is (obsolete|intransitive) to exist, to be. As a noun consist is (rail transport) a lineup or sequence of railroad carriages or cars, with or without a locomotive, that form a unit.





  • To be made up of; to consist of (especially a comprehensive list of parts).
  • :
  • :
    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.
  • *{{quote-news, year=2011, date=December 10, author=David Ornstein, work=BBC Sport
  • , title= Arsenal 1-0 Everton
    , passage=Arsenal were playing without a recognised full-back – their defence comprising four centre-halves – and the lack of width was hindering their progress.}}

  • To include, contain or embrace.
  • :
  • To compose, to constitute. See usage note below.
  • :
  • :
  • *1657 , (Isaac Barrow), (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.”
  • *
  • *: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.
  • (lb) To include, contain, or be made up of (“open-ended”, doesn’t limit to the items listed; cf. compose , which is “closed” and limits to the items listed)
  • Usage notes

    * Traditionally, a team comprised its members, whereas the members composed” the team. (The ”Associated Press Stylebook” advises journalists to maintain this distinction.) The sense “compose, constitute” — as in “the members comprise the team” — is sometimes considered incorrect. According to ” also state that it is an increasingly frequent and accepted usage.
    * The use of “of” with the verb in the active (rather than passive) tense is always incorrect, hence *”the UK comprises of four countries” and *”four countries comprise of the UK” are incorrect.



    Etymology 1

    From (etyl) consister, from (etyl) .


    (en verb )

  • (obsolete) To exist, to be.
  • *, II.15:
  • *:Why doe they cover with so many lets, one over another, those parts where chiefly consisteth our pleasure and theirs?
  • To be comprised or contained (in).
  • To be composed, formed, or made up (of).
  • * {{quote-book, year=1913, author=
  • , chapter=6, title= Lord Stranleigh Abroad
    , passage=The men resided in a huge bunk house, which consisted of one room only, with a shack outside where the cooking was done. In the large room were a dozen bunks?; half of them in a very dishevelled state,

  • * {{quote-magazine, date=2013-07-19, author=(Timothy Garton Ash)
  • , volume=189, issue=6, page=18, magazine=(The Guardian Weekly)
    , title= Where Dr Pangloss meets Machiavelli
    , passage=Hidden behind thickets of acronyms and gorse bushes of detail, a new great game is under way across the globe. Some call it geoeconomics, but it’s geopolitics too. The current power play consists of an extraordinary range of countries simultaneously sitting down to negotiate big free trade and investment agreements.}}


    * (be composed of) comprise

    Derived terms

    * consist in

    Etymology 2

    From (consist) (verb).


    (en noun )

  • (rail transport) A lineup or sequence of railroad carriages or cars, with or without a locomotive, that form a unit.
  • The train’s consist included a baggage car, four passenger cars, and a diner.

    * (rail transport) rake


    * tocsins
    English heteronyms