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

Yet there is a misunderstanding of who this electorate is. Nic Garcia, The Denver Post, "Colorado Latinos really don’t like President Donald Trump but they aren’t excited about the 2020 election yet," 29 Aug. 2019 On Friday, a studio representative contacted the Little Theatre to apologize, saying there had been a misunderstanding about whether the cinema qualified as a commercial theater, Reis said. Ryan Faughnder, Los Angeles Times, "Cinemas worry Disney may leave ‘Fight Club’ and other Fox classics out of theaters," 9 Aug. 2019 There was a misunderstanding about Mr. Westmorland’s return. Karen Pilarski, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "A Milwaukee man said he was racially profiled while trying to return blinds at The Home Depot in Wauwatosa," 29 July 2019 Clifton, who sought the Democratic nomination for mayor in 2016, previously told the Sun that the investigation that resulted in his firing last year was the result of a misunderstanding. Kevin Rector, baltimoresun.com, "Security being increased at Baltimore city buildings after fired IT employee gained ‘unfettered access’ to sensitive areas," 16 July 2019 The company said the study implies that the deaths in the two crashes that involved semi trucks were the result of misunderstanding by the Tesla drivers. Russ Mitchell, latimes.com, "The public thinks Tesla’s Autopilot is safer than it is, an insurance group says," 20 June 2019 There is still a lot of misunderstanding about the pro-choice position. Letters To The Editor, The Mercury News, "Letter: I don’t know anyone who is pro-abortion," 10 June 2019 The best ones would crumble without false identities, without duping primary and secondary characters, or without stoking the flames of misunderstanding. Anne T. Donahue, Marie Claire, "Is All Rom-Com Love Based on a Lie?," 12 Feb. 2019 After the investigation, the Timbers released a statement saying that the allegations were not true, but there could have been a misunderstanding. Jamie Goldberg, oregonlive.com, "Portland Timbers prepare for rematch with LAFC in quarterfinals of U.S. Open Cup," 9 July 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

9 Sep 2019

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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).


miscellaneous remnants or debris

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