1

understanding

noun un·der·stand·ing \ ˌən-dər-ˈstan-diŋ \
|Updated on: 16 Aug 2018

Definition of understanding

1 : a mental grasp : comprehension
2 a : 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
3 a : friendly or harmonious relationship
b : an agreement of opinion or feeling : adjustment of differences
c : a mutual agreement not formally entered into but in some degree binding on each side
5 : sympathy 3a

Examples of understanding in a Sentence

  1. He has a thorough understanding of the subject.

  2. She has a basic understanding of the process.

  3. I hope to get a clearer understanding of the issues involved.

  4. He seems to have little understanding of our situation.

  5. We have an understanding that whoever cooks doesn't have to do the dishes.

  6. She treats them with kindness and understanding.

  7. a relationship based on mutual understanding

Recent Examples of understanding from the Web

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.

First Known Use of understanding

before 12th century

in the meaning defined at sense 1

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2

understanding

adjective

Definition of understanding

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

understandingly

play \ˌən-dər-ˈstan-diŋ-lē\ adverb

Examples of understanding in a Sentence

  1. a kind and understanding teacher who often helps troubled students

Recent Examples of understanding from the Web

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.

First Known Use of understanding

13th century

in the meaning defined at sense 1

See Words from the same year
NEW! Time Traveler


UNDERSTANDING Defined for English Language Learners

understanding

Definition of understanding for English Language Learners

  • : 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

Definition of understanding for English Language Learners

  • : showing sympathy and kindness : tolerant or sympathetic


UNDERSTANDING Defined for Kids

1

understanding

noun un·der·stand·ing \ ˌən-dər-ˈstan-diŋ \

Definition of understanding for Students

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.

2

understanding

adjective

Definition of understanding for Students

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


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