mis·​un·​der·​stand·​ing | \ (ˌ)mi-ˌsən-dər-ˈstan-diŋ How to pronounce misunderstanding (audio) \

Definition of misunderstanding

1 : a failure to understand : misinterpretation The instructions were carefully written to prevent misunderstanding.
2 : quarrel, disagreement an unfortunate misunderstanding between two old friends

Examples of misunderstanding in a Sentence

The instructions are carefully written in order to avoid misunderstanding. Her comments reflect a misunderstanding of the basic problem. using clear language to avoid misunderstandings an unfortunate misunderstanding between old friends We had our little misunderstandings in the past but we managed to clear them up long ago.
Recent Examples on the Web Usually the situation is treated as a misunderstanding and the items are returned. Sarah D. Wire, Los Angeles Times, 8 Sep. 2022 Rotating outages in several California municipalities Tuesday night — including in the Bay Area — weren't ordered by the grid operator and resulted from confusion and misunderstanding, grid CEO Elliot Mainzer said Wednesday on a media call. Jessica Flores, San Francisco Chronicle, 7 Sep. 2022 Not making that distinction, some say, subjects their communities in the U.S. to misunderstanding, harassment, scorn and danger. Marc Ramirez, USA TODAY, 28 Aug. 2022 Aerosol scientists maintain that there is a physics misunderstanding in the very theory of droplet transmission, but the resistance among public health authorities is still strong. Annalisa Merelli, Quartz, 26 Aug. 2022 Little League International claims the controversial footage shown on ESPN of white players attaching fabric, resembling cotton, to their Black teammate's head is nothing more than an unfortunate misunderstanding. Natasha Dye, Peoplemag, 23 Aug. 2022 The problem usually stems from a misunderstanding on how to create and use video in marketing campaigns. Kelly Schwarze, Rolling Stone, 10 Aug. 2022 Though exciting, in the midst of celebrating his first acting gig, the former Chase co-star had to clear up a misunderstanding about the show on Twitter. Selena Barrientos, Good Housekeeping, 19 Aug. 2022 As Web3 tech slowly becomes mainstream, there’s significant opportunity for misunderstanding and conflict, Kohn warns. Brian Steinberg, Variety, 18 Aug. 2022 See More

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

First Known Use of misunderstanding

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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The first known use of misunderstanding was in the 15th century

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Last Updated

15 Sep 2022

Cite this Entry

“Misunderstanding.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/misunderstanding. Accessed 25 Sep. 2022.

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More Definitions for misunderstanding


mis·​un·​der·​stand·​ing | \ ˌmis-ˌən-dər-ˈstan-diŋ \

Kids Definition of misunderstanding

1 : a failure to get the meaning of : a failure to understand

More from Merriam-Webster on misunderstanding

Nglish: Translation of misunderstanding for Spanish Speakers


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