Definition of understand
1 a : to grasp the meaning of <understand Russian> b : to grasp the reasonableness of <his behavior is hard to understand> c : to have thorough or technical acquaintance with or expertness in the practice of <understand finance> d : to be thoroughly familiar with the character and propensities of <understands children>
2 : to accept as a fact or truth or regard as plausible without utter certainty <we understand that he is returning from abroad>
3 : to interpret in one of a number of possible ways
4 : to supply in thought as though expressed <“to be married” is commonly understood after the word engaged>
1 : to have understanding : have the power of comprehension
2 : to achieve a grasp of the nature, significance, or explanation of something
3 : to believe or infer something to be the case
4 : to show a sympathetic or tolerant attitude toward something
understandabilityplay \-ˌstan-də-ˈbi-lə-tē\ noun
understandableplay \-ˈstan-də-bəl\ adjective
Examples of understand in a sentence
I can't understand a word you're saying.
I don't understand these directions.
I want you to stay away from her. Do you understand?
I don't understand how this is supposed to work.
He doesn't really understand the situation.
You should read the book in order to understand more about the subject.
I can't understand why she would do such a thing.
She's beginning to understand what's going on.
You have to understand that I had no other choice.
At first we didn't get along, but I think we understand each other now.
Origin and Etymology of understand
Middle English, from Old English understandan, from under + standan to stand
First Known Use: before 12th century
Synonym Discussion of understand
UNDERSTAND Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of understand for English Language Learners
: to know the meaning of (something, such as the words that someone is saying or a language)
: to know how (something) works or happens
: to know how (someone) thinks, feels, or behaves
UNDERSTAND Defined for Kids
Definition of understand for Students
1 : to get the meaning of <Do you understand my instructions?>
2 : to know thoroughly <I understand Spanish.> <She understands the situation.>
3 : to have reason to believe <I understand that they will come today.>
4 : to take as meaning something not clearly made known <I understand the letter to be a refusal.>
5 : to have a sympathetic attitude <Don't worry, I understand how you feel.>
6 : to accept as settled <It is understood that I will pay.>
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up understand? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).