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

Keep scrolling for more

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.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web Lattimore’s attorney, Marcus Sidoti, said the body camera footage backs up his previous statement that Lattimore’s arrest amounted to a misunderstanding. Adam Ferrise, cleveland, "Body camera video released from arrest of New Orleans Saints cornerback Marshon Lattimore in Cleveland," 21 Apr. 2021 Baseball is a game of statistics, and most baseball fans love analyzing statistics, which leads to a fundamental misunderstanding of spring training statistics. Star Tribune, "In face of a silly rule, Twins sending Alex Kirilloff down was right move," 25 Mar. 2021 Sometimes this is due to a misunderstanding in how the form’s total is calculated, Kentucky officials have said. Matthew Glowicki, The Courier-Journal, "From unemployment to new deadlines, here are some tax changes every Kentuckian should know," 23 Mar. 2021 However, cultures vary in their willingness to speak up, volunteer their opinions or admit to misunderstanding. Darren Menabney, Forbes, "How Native English Speakers Can Create More Inclusive Global Teams," 9 Mar. 2021 But efficacy numbers are prone to rampant misunderstanding. Rahul Rao, Popular Science, "Returning to normal life is going to be a slow and steady process," 8 Mar. 2021 The spiders were not in any public spaces, said university spokeswoman Kim Broekhuizen, and staff closed the building due to a misunderstanding and out of an abundance of caution. NBC News, "Venomous spiders prompt University of Michigan library to close," 25 Feb. 2021 Thanks to a silly misunderstanding, Wanda must impress his boss (Fred Melamed) and his wife (That ‘70s Show’s Debra Jo Rupp) by whipping up dinner with no advance notice. Judy Berman, Time, "WandaVision Deserves the Hype. But It Penalizes Casual Marvel Viewers With Confusion," 14 Jan. 2021 The first reason is a misunderstanding of the investment community and its objectives. Sarah Keohane Williamson, Forbes, "COVID-19 Canceled Quarterly Guidance – This Bad Habit Shouldn’t Come Back," 8 Apr. 2021

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.

See More

First Known Use of misunderstanding

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about misunderstanding

Time Traveler for misunderstanding

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Statistics for misunderstanding

Last Updated

6 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Misunderstanding.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/misunderstanding. Accessed 17 May. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for misunderstanding



English Language Learners Definition of misunderstanding

: a failure to understand something
: a usually minor argument or disagreement


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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for misunderstanding

Nglish: Translation of misunderstanding for Spanish Speakers

Comments on misunderstanding

What made you want to look up misunderstanding? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


Test Your Vocabulary

Words Used by Nabokov Quiz

  • image1676440788
  • Choose the best definition or synonym for the word in bold: "There are some eructations that sound like cheers—at least, mine did." Lolita
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

 AlphaBear 2

Spell words. Make bears.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!