Definition of understanding in English:


Syllabification: un·der·stand·ing
Pronunciation: /ˌəndərˈstandiNG


  • 1The ability to understand something; comprehension: foreign visitors with little understanding of English
    More example sentences
    • It may not be until June or July of next year until a more comprehensive understanding of the problem is reached.
    • He constantly strives to increase his abilities and his understanding of the obstacles around him.
    • Our understanding of and ability to control quantum systems have never been so good.
    comprehension, apprehension, grasp, mastery, appreciation, assimilation, absorption; knowledge, awareness, insight, skill, expertise, proficiency
    informal know-how
    formal cognizance
  • 1.1The power of abstract thought; intellect: a child of sufficient intelligence and understanding
    More example sentences
    • I am aware, and hope I have also made it clear to the reader, that merely intellectual understanding is not sufficient.
    • Wisdom and understanding have always been powerful and effective weapons against a poor belief/approach.
    • The essay is an examination of the nature of the human mind and its powers of understanding.
  • 1.2An individual’s perception or judgment of a situation: my understanding was that he would try to find a new supplier
    More example sentences
    • His understanding of the situation was that a fracas had spilled over from the field of play to where substitutes were sitting and they got involved.
    • This has been an unfortunately brief, but crucial attempt at increasing our understanding of the situation we find ourselves in.
    • My understanding of the situation regarding the region was also influenced by his work.
    belief, perception, view, conviction, feeling, opinion, intuition, impression, assumption, supposition, inference, interpretation
  • 1.3Sympathetic awareness or tolerance: a problem that needs to be handled with understanding
    More example sentences
    • They have shown no compassion, no understanding, no tolerance, and especially, no patience.
    • Tolerance and understanding develops between Ruth and other members of the household.
    • Every story he tells in some way teaches tolerance and understanding.
    compassion, sympathy, pity, feeling, concern, consideration, kindness, sensitivity, decency, humanity, charity, goodwill, mercy, tolerance
  • 1.4An informal or unspoken agreement or arrangement: he and I have an understanding he had only been allowed to come on the understanding that he would be on his best behavior
    More example sentences
    • How do we establish mutual agreements or common understandings while respecting diversity?
    • They just do not come close to telling the whole story, since informal understandings and norms are crucial in determining outcomes.
    • All was talk except for what mattered most, which were unspoken understandings.


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  • 2 archaic Having insight or good judgment.
    More example sentences
    • If you lack understanding and meditative insight, this test could become an obstacle.



More example sentences
  • ‘It's okay’, Vince assured him understandingly.
  • ‘Ah, I see,’ he suddenly nodded understandingly.
  • ‘You've been through a lot,’ he said understandingly.

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Word of the day coloratura
Pronunciation: ˌkələrəˈto͝orə
elaborate ornamentation of a vocal melody