mis·​un·​der·​stand·​ing (ˌ)mi-ˌsən-dər-ˈstan-diŋ How to pronounce misunderstanding (audio)
: a failure to understand : misinterpretation
The instructions were carefully written to prevent misunderstanding.
: 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 On May 11, friction and misunderstandings within your inner circles are likely, thanks to a challenging square between the Cancer Moon and Mars in Aries. Valerie Mesa, Peoplemag, 10 May 2024 The university's latest statement said the impasse was partially based on a misunderstanding about the chancellor’s role and authority. Kelly Meyerhofer, Journal Sentinel, 8 May 2024 See all Example Sentences for misunderstanding 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'misunderstanding.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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

Dictionary Entries Near misunderstanding

Cite this Entry

“Misunderstanding.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/misunderstanding. Accessed 26 May. 2024.

Kids Definition


: a failure to understand

More from Merriam-Webster on misunderstanding

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