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

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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web

After talking to police, Ms. Brisbois said, the woman approached Mr. Liu and apologized to him for the misunderstanding. WSJ, "JD.com Founder Faces Backlash at Home: ‘Behind the Law is Morality’," 22 Dec. 2018 Jenna Gibson, Director of Communications at the Korea Economic Institute of America (KEIA) tells TIME that even absent of such bombast, the potential for misunderstanding between the two leaders is high. Joseph Hincks / Seoul, Time, "Translating Trump and Kim: Spare a Thought for the Interpreters at the June 12 Summit," 11 June 2018 If the signals are complex, change quickly, and are delivered in bellicose language, the chances for misunderstandings increase exponentially. Terry Hartle, The Christian Science Monitor, "'1983' chronicles a Cold War-era narrow escape from nuclear war," 2 May 2018 As for council's misunderstanding of the project deadline, minutes of the Oct. 2 Service and Safety Committee show that Councilman Goodwin asked when the median had to be completed. Bob Sandrick, cleveland.com, "Lone bidder on Ohio 82 beautification in Broadview Heights still working on project, despite Dec. 31 deadline," 1 May 2018 Ultimately, Zuckerberg ended up inviting conservative media figures to Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park to apologize for the misunderstanding. Anchorage Daily News, "Facebook will now ask users to rank news organizations they trust," 20 Jan. 2018 But there’s so much misunderstanding about what healthy eating truly is. Kimberly Truong, SELF, "8 Signs It’s Time to See a Therapist About Your Relationship With Food," 29 Jan. 2019 However, regardless of people's misunderstanding of the STD, herpes is completely manageable and so common. Yerin Kim, Seventeen, "What Is Herpes and How Do I Know if I Have It?," 11 Dec. 2018 There's only one problem: Raj never bothers to ask about Anu's ex-boyfriend, the guy who instigated this whole misunderstanding in the first place. Jessica Radloff, Glamour, "The Big Bang Theory Season 12, Episode 12 Recap: Penny and Leonard Have a Big Decision," 10 Jan. 2019

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.

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First Known Use of misunderstanding

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for misunderstanding

Last Updated

22 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for misunderstanding

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

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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

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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).


having no equal

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