mis·​un·​der·​stood (ˌ)mi-ˌsən-dər-ˈstu̇d How to pronounce misunderstood (audio)
: wrongly or imperfectly understood
a misunderstood question
Mondegreens are misunderstood lyrics, and when we asked our readers for their favorites, not surprisingly the most familiar ones got multiple votes.Dave Tianen
: not sympathetically appreciated
[Shorty] Rossi has become a name in the animal rescue community for his fierce advocacy for the interests of the pit bull, which he sees as a misunderstood breed.Publisher's Weekly
He speaks proudly and protectively of his two directing efforts as if they were beloved but misunderstood children, and he's touchingly eager to explain their unappreciated virtues.Ron Rosenbaum

Examples of misunderstood in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web But it’s been largely misunderstood and ignored for most of that time. Claire Maldarelli, Popular Science, 14 Feb. 2024 This is one of the most misunderstood myths about credit scoring, Dornhelm said. Michelle Singletary, Washington Post, 4 Oct. 2023 It is now misunderstood to be a serious inquiry, rather than a simple greeting. Jacobina Martin, Washington Post, 4 Sep. 2023 Translation is often misunderstood as a one-to-one decryption of a foreign word or phrase. Rachel Shin, Fortune, 5 July 2023 Yet, many of the classic songs that casual listeners assume are patriotic are anything but, from misunderstood anti-war protests to singalong favorites masking darker meanings. Maeve McDermott, USA TODAY, 29 June 2023 Swimming away with the carp steak on the end of my line was one of the most misunderstood fish in the country. Joe Cermele, Field & Stream, 25 May 2023 Telling a story about a widely misunderstood religion that spans two centuries and a half-dozen or so states was not easy. Meredith Blakestaff Writer, Los Angeles Times, 5 May 2022 Michael Caton-Jones (who would go on to direct, with supreme wit, the greatly misunderstood Basic Instinct 2) helmed this rousing medieval actioner, which in many ways is the first movie that introduced audiences to Liam Neeson's surprising and later much-deployed revenge skills. Declan Gallagher, EW.com, 17 Feb. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'misunderstood.' 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

1583, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of misunderstood was in 1583

Dictionary Entries Near misunderstood

Cite this Entry

“Misunderstood.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/misunderstood. Accessed 25 Feb. 2024.

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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