Simple Definition of understand
: to know the meaning of (something, such as the words that someone is saying or a language)
: to know how (something) works or happens
: to know how (someone) thinks, feels, or behaves
Full Definition of understand
1 a : to grasp the meaning of <understand Russian> b : to grasp the reasonableness of <his behavior is hard to understand> c : to have thorough or technical acquaintance with or expertness in the practice of <understand finance> d : to be thoroughly familiar with the character and propensities of <understands children>
2 : to accept as a fact or truth or regard as plausible without utter certainty <we understand that he is returning from abroad>
3 : to interpret in one of a number of possible ways
4 : to supply in thought as though expressed <“to be married” is commonly understood after the word engaged>
1 : to have understanding : have the power of comprehension
2 : to achieve a grasp of the nature, significance, or explanation of something
3 : to believe or infer something to be the case
4 : to show a sympathetic or tolerant attitude toward something
Examples of understand in a sentence
I can't understand a word you're saying.
I don't understand these directions.
I want you to stay away from her. Do you understand?
I don't understand how this is supposed to work.
He doesn't really understand the situation.
You should read the book in order to understand more about the subject.
I can't understand why she would do such a thing.
She's beginning to understand what's going on.
You have to understand that I had no other choice.
At first we didn't get along, but I think we understand each other now.
Origin of understand
Middle English, from Old English understandan, from under + standan to stand
First Known Use: before 12th century
Synonym Discussion of understand
Rhymes with understand
ampersand, baby grand, bear a hand, beforehand, behindhand, bellyband, belly-land, borderland, bottomland, cap in hand, concert grand, confirmand, contraband, countermand, Damavand, Dixieland, ductless gland, eldest hand, fairyland, fatherland, force one's hand, forestland, four-in-hand, garage band, gastric gland, Gelderland, graduand, hand in hand, hand-to-hand, hand to hand, helping hand, high command, hinterland, Holy Land, Krugerrand, lotusland, meadowland, minute hand, motherland, Nagaland, narrowband, no-man's-land, on demand, one-man band, one-night stand, operand, ordinand, out of hand, overhand, overland, parlor grand, pastureland, promised land, prostate gland, public land, radicand, reprimand, Rio Grande, rubber band, running hand, saraband, secondhand, Swaziland, tableland, taxi stand, timberland, Togoland, try one's hand, underhand, undermanned, wonderland, Zululand
UNDERSTAND Defined for Kids
Definition of understand for Students
1 : to get the meaning of <Do you understand my instructions?>
2 : to know thoroughly <I understand Spanish.> <She understands the situation.>
3 : to have reason to believe <I understand that they will come today.>
4 : to take as meaning something not clearly made known <I understand the letter to be a refusal.>
5 : to have a sympathetic attitude <Don't worry, I understand how you feel.>
6 : to accept as settled <It is understood that I will pay.>
Seen and Heard
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