understanding

noun
un·​der·​stand·​ing | \ ˌən-dər-ˈstan-diŋ How to pronounce understanding (audio) \

Definition of understanding

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a mental grasp : comprehension
2a : the power of comprehending especially : the capacity to apprehend general relations of particulars
b : the power to make experience intelligible by applying concepts and categories
3a : a mutual agreement not formally entered into but in some degree binding on each side
b : friendly or harmonious relationship
c : an agreement of opinion or feeling : adjustment of differences

understanding

adjective

Definition of understanding (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : endowed with understanding : tolerant, sympathetic an understanding supervisor
2 archaic : knowing, intelligent

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Other Words from understanding

Adjective

understandingly \ ˌən-​dər-​ˈstan-​diŋ-​lē How to pronounce understanding (audio) \ adverb

Examples of understanding in a Sentence

Noun He has a thorough understanding of the subject. She has a basic understanding of the process. I hope to get a clearer understanding of the issues involved. He seems to have little understanding of our situation. We have an understanding that whoever cooks doesn't have to do the dishes. She treats them with kindness and understanding. a relationship based on mutual understanding Adjective a kind and understanding teacher who often helps troubled students
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The use of an app such as Zoom on a computer or smartphone requires an understanding of technology that not everyone has, especially older people more likely to comment on civic affairs. Karen Pearlman, Phil Diehl, San Diego Union-Tribune, 24 July 2021 Since 2017, in the aftermath of Rio, Meyers has had an understanding with the USOPC that permits her mother, Maria, to travel with her to international competitions as her PCA. Dave Sheinin, Anchorage Daily News, 20 July 2021 For an immersive understanding of Acadiana's complex past, the living-history museum at Vermilionville is an essential stop. Eleni N. Gage, Travel + Leisure, 19 July 2021 At Fendi, an understanding of classic couture allows for an assumed reign. Calin Van Paris, Vogue, 16 July 2021 In this sense, an understanding of critical race theory can actually be quite liberating for the not-racist individual. Bill Boegeman, Star Tribune, 16 July 2021 Lots of introductions, a few challenges, but not much to give us a sense of how this season will play out or an understanding of the overall dynamic of the house. Kyle Fowle, EW.com, 12 July 2021 But there’s also an understanding of how Holbrook molded Budenholzer into the person the Bucks like to play for. Lori Nickel, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 8 July 2021 Too many filmmakers lack an understanding of the city and just toss a few Lions or Pistons T-shirts into the wardrobe or show a few seconds of the RenCen skyline. Julie Hinds, Detroit Free Press, 2 July 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective First, though, there has to be more understanding and options. Bill Weir, CNN, 25 July 2021 Hillman thinks private providers need to be more understanding and students should apply to their university hardship fund for help. Tess Reidy, refinery29.com, 4 July 2021 My somewhat negative experience raising capital, gives me a more understanding and empathetic approach to being a VC and investing in startup founders. Rebekah Bastian, Forbes, 25 May 2021 Calm troubled waters by being thoughtful and understanding. Tribune Content Agency, oregonlive, 29 Mar. 2021 Couldn’t the Angels have been more understanding and allow Pujols to walk away quietly at the end of one of the most dynamic careers in recent history? Bernie Pleskoff, Forbes, 6 May 2021 Their practice times change daily because of the overlap, and the kids have been incredibly responsible and understanding. Jeff Vorva, chicagotribune.com, 22 Apr. 2021 Another position with a more understanding boss would be great — but that option is largely outside your control, and your focus would still be hampered by covid stress, plus having to learn a new job. Washington Post, 22 Apr. 2021 Lucky for him, his wife (Connie Nielson) is very understanding, and his dad (Christopher Lloyd) and an old colleague (RZA) show up to help when the shooting starts. Jim Kiest, San Antonio Express-News, 14 Apr. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'understanding.' 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 understanding

Noun

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Adjective

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2

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Time Traveler for understanding

Time Traveler

The first known use of understanding was before the 12th century

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Dictionary Entries Near understanding

understander

understanding

understate

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Statistics for understanding

Last Updated

27 Jul 2021

Cite this Entry

“Understanding.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/understanding. Accessed 31 Jul. 2021.

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More Definitions for understanding

understanding

noun

English Language Learners Definition of understanding

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: the knowledge and ability to judge a particular situation or subject
: an informal agreement
: a willingness to understand people's behavior and forgive them

understanding

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of understanding (Entry 2 of 2)

: showing sympathy and kindness : tolerant or sympathetic

understanding

noun
un·​der·​stand·​ing | \ ˌən-dər-ˈstan-diŋ How to pronounce understanding (audio) \

Kids Definition of understanding

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : ability to get the meaning of and judge He lacks an understanding of what's going on.
2 : an agreement of opinion or feeling We've come to an understanding about how to proceed.
3 : a willingness to show kind or favorable feelings toward others
4 : the particular way in which someone understands something It's my understanding that they're coming.

understanding

adjective

Kids Definition of understanding (Entry 2 of 2)

: having or showing kind or favorable feelings toward others : sympathetic

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