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 understandingly (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 strength and emotional resonance of America’s recent teachers’ strikes has come from similar forms of understanding, a deep sense of schools as places where academic learning and a whole host of other activities take place. Josephine Livingstone, The New Republic, "The New Aristocracy Discovers “Microschools”," 4 Aug. 2020 Steiner began her center so first responders would have understanding ears to talk to. Clarence Page, chicagotribune.com, "Column: Police suicides raise questions about a hidden pandemic," 4 Aug. 2020 Scientists’ understanding of coronavirus is constantly changing. Scott Hershberger, Scientific American, "How to Evaluate COVID-19 News without Freaking Out," 3 Aug. 2020 City staff said the goal of the event is to foster education and dialogue on equity and understanding. Karen Pearlman, San Diego Union-Tribune, "La Mesa holding diversity meeting on Aug. 5," 3 Aug. 2020 Researchers have pointed out that this can hinder public understanding and policy decisions. Ula Chrobak, Popular Science, "Major news outlets are handing the mic to big business on climate issues," 3 Aug. 2020 Steen also began all-company listening sessions where people can share ideas, thoughts and concerns on what CrowdStreet could do to be more welcoming, understanding and diverse. oregonlive, "CrowdStreet takes pride in its workplace energy, commitment to clients: Top Workplaces 2020," 2 Aug. 2020 That gave county public health officials a huge advantage in understanding where to put testing and contact tracing resources. Erin Allday, SFChronicle.com, "‘We’re missing huge amounts of data’: Why we still can’t track the spread of COVID-19 across the Bay Area," 2 Aug. 2020 Working through these changes is made much easier with compassion and understanding from customers. Olivia Harrison, refinery29.com, "How To Avoid Being A Complete Jerk When Dining Out During A Pandemic," 31 July 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective From what Whitaker has seen, the vendors have been very understanding, not charging cancellation fees and doing their best to reschedule. al, "Say ‘yes’ to fall weddings: COVID-19 shifts wedding season to football season," 12 June 2020 Tonight: Despite distractions, be cooperative and understanding. BostonGlobe.com, "Horoscope," 4 June 2020 There’s reason to believe that the pandemic may push employers to be more understanding. Olga Khazan, The Atlantic, "Yes, You Can Be Fired for Getting COVID-19," 1 June 2020 Yet understanding media and entertainment's role represents a complex challenge, litigated across decades. Brian Lowry, CNN, "What 'Law & Order'-type crime shows can (and can't) tell us about views of policing," 4 June 2020 My staff has been really understanding and flexible as things continue to unfold. Lindsey Mcclave, The Courier-Journal, "What's next for Louisville restaurants? 3 Prospect eateries weigh in on the new normal," 12 May 2020 Your 3-year-old is understanding notions like opposites (big versus small and old versus new), time of day and matching objects. New York Times, "The science of your 3-year-old," 18 Apr. 2020 However, very understanding due to the rising concerns regarding the virus. Ben Thomas | Bthomas@al.com, al, "'It’s awful:’ No school means no high school spring sports champions in 2020," 26 Mar. 2020 People are generally very understanding about the need not to meet in person right now. Melissa Quinn, CBS News, "Houses of worship and states battle over coronavirus restrictions," 16 Apr. 2020

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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Statistics for understanding

Last Updated

7 Aug 2020

Cite this Entry

“Understanding.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/understanding. Accessed 11 Aug. 2020.

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More Definitions for understanding

understanding

noun
How to pronounce understanding (audio)

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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Comments on understanding

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