mis·​un·​der·​stand | \ (ˌ)mi-ˌsən-dər-ˈstand How to pronounce misunderstand (audio) \
misunderstood\ (ˌ)mi-​ˌsən-​dər-​ˈstu̇d How to pronounce misunderstand (audio) \; misunderstanding

Definition of misunderstand

transitive verb

1 : to fail to understand
2 : to interpret incorrectly

Examples of misunderstand in a Sentence

Don't misunderstand me—I'm not criticizing your decision. He feels that the critics have completely misunderstood his movies. She expressed herself in clear terms that no one could misunderstand.
Recent Examples on the Web Where Miller was poised and confident, the girl seemed distrustful, shrinking in her chair, covering her face with her brown hair and occasionally appearing to misunderstand the questions she was being asked. Rafael Olmeda, Sun Sentinel, 12 May 2022 Don’t misunderstand this to be a naive suggestion that all violent images or video automatically begets real-life violence. Andy Meek, BGR, 27 May 2022 Many drivers misunderstand the limits of technology already on the road today. David Ingram, NBC News, 9 Apr. 2022 Both dramatically misunderstand the situation, in terms of both how woke Ukraine truly is and why Ukraine is receiving support. Anthony Constantini, National Review, 6 Apr. 2022 These moves also misunderstand how opposition and responsibility work in an authoritarian society. Matt Ford, The New Republic, 7 Mar. 2022 But Cristol said Youngkin appeared to misunderstand the specifics of the bill. Washington Post, 1 Mar. 2022 The higher-ed lobby fought this effort hard, feigning again and again to misunderstand what the law required, despite having the resources to hire the best legal minds in the United States to figure it out. Robert S. Eitel, National Review, 1 Mar. 2022 Seiko's Spring Drive technology is easy to misunderstand, which is partly due to the basic nature of Spring Drive. Jack Forster, Bloomberg.com, 20 Jan. 2021 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'misunderstand.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of misunderstand

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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The first known use of misunderstand was in the 13th century

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Last Updated

22 Jun 2022

Cite this Entry

“Misunderstand.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/misunderstand. Accessed 30 Jun. 2022.

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More Definitions for misunderstand


mis·​un·​der·​stand | \ ˌmis-ˌən-dər-ˈstand How to pronounce misunderstand (audio) \
misunderstood\ -​ˈstu̇d \; misunderstanding

Kids Definition of misunderstand

: to fail to get the meaning of : fail to understand

More from Merriam-Webster on misunderstand

Nglish: Translation of misunderstand for Spanish Speakers


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