understanding

1 of 2

noun

un·​der·​stand·​ing ˌən-dər-ˈstan-diŋ How to pronounce understanding (audio)
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
: 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
4
5

understanding

2 of 2

adjective

1
: endowed with understanding : tolerant, sympathetic
an understanding supervisor
2
archaic : knowing, intelligent
understandingly 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
Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
Hickman had negotiated the terms of her 2022 agreement with the understanding that the city would be under a new administration the following year, Campbell said. Shawn Raymundo, The Arizona Republic, 3 Apr. 2024 These findings not only offer a comprehensive understanding of the economic impact of cinema and its affiliated sectors but also lay a robust groundwork for propelling its growth in the years ahead. Anna Marie De La Fuente, Variety, 3 Apr. 2024 See all Example Sentences for understanding 

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

Noun

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

Adjective

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2

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

Dictionary Entries Near understanding

Cite this Entry

“Understanding.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/understanding. Accessed 17 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition

understanding

1 of 2 noun
un·​der·​stand·​ing ˌən-dər-ˈstan-diŋ How to pronounce understanding (audio)
1
: knowledge and ability to judge : intelligence
a person of understanding
2
a
: agreement of opinion or feeling
b
: something agreed to by both sides and entered into silently or without ceremony
an understanding between two nations over trade
3
: one's belief about something based upon what is known
4

understanding

2 of 2 adjective
: having or showing understanding : tolerant, sympathetic
you seem very understanding
understandingly adverb
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!