verb un·der·stand \ˌən-dər-ˈstand\

Definition of understand


play \ˌən-dər-ˈstu̇d\;


  1. transitive verb
  2. 1a :  to grasp the meaning of understand Russianb :  to grasp the reasonableness of his behavior is hard to understandc :  to have thorough or technical acquaintance with or expertness in the practice of understand financed :  to be thoroughly familiar with the character and propensities of understands children

  3. 2 :  to accept as a fact or truth or regard as plausible without utter certainty we understand that he is returning from abroad

  4. 3 :  to interpret in one of a number of possible ways

  5. 4 :  to supply in thought as though expressed “to be married” is commonly understood after the word engaged

  6. intransitive verb
  7. 1 :  to have understanding :  have the power of comprehension

  8. 2 :  to achieve a grasp of the nature, significance, or explanation of something

  9. 3 :  to believe or infer something to be the case

  10. 4 :  to show a sympathetic or tolerant attitude toward something


play \ˌən-dər-ˌstan-də-ˈbi-lə-tē\ noun


play \ˌən-dər-ˈstan-də-bəl\ adjective

Examples of understand in a sentence

  1. I can't understand a word you're saying.

  2. I don't understand these directions.

  3. I want you to stay away from her. Do you understand?

  4. I don't understand how this is supposed to work.

  5. He doesn't really understand the situation.

  6. You should read the book in order to understand more about the subject.

  7. I can't understand why she would do such a thing.

  8. She's beginning to understand what's going on.

  9. You have to understand that I had no other choice.

  10. 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, comprehend, appreciate mean to have a clear or complete idea of. understand and comprehend are very often interchangeable. understand may, however, stress the fact of having attained a firm mental grasp of something. orders that were fully understood and promptly obeyed comprehend may stress the process of coming to grips with something intellectually. I have trouble comprehending your reasons for doing this appreciate implies a just evaluation or judgment of a thing's value or nature. failed to appreciate the risks involved

UNDERSTAND Defined for English Language Learners


verb un·der·stand \ˌən-dər-ˈstand\

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


verb un·der·stand \ˌən-dər-ˈstand\

Definition of understand for Students




  1. 1 :  to get the meaning of Do you understand my instructions?

  2. 2 :  to know thoroughly I understand Spanish. She understands the situation.

  3. 3 :  to have reason to believe I understand that they will come today.

  4. 4 :  to take as meaning something not clearly made known I understand the letter to be a refusal.

  5. 5 :  to have a sympathetic attitude Don't worry, I understand how you feel.

  6. 6 :  to accept as settled It is understood that I will pay.

Seen and Heard

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a trip made at another's expense

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