misunderstand

verb

mis·​un·​der·​stand (ˌ)mi-ˌsən-dər-ˈstand How to pronounce misunderstand (audio)
misunderstood (ˌ)mi-ˌsən-dər-ˈstu̇d How to pronounce misunderstand (audio) ; misunderstanding

transitive verb

1
: to fail to understand
2
: to interpret incorrectly

Example Sentences

Don't misunderstand me—I'm not criticizing your decision. He feels that the critics have completely misunderstood his movies. She expressed herself in clear terms that no one could misunderstand.
Recent Examples on the Web The market didn’t misunderstand, as in mis-price, derivates. Laurence Kotlikoff, Forbes, 11 July 2022 Michal Shinnar, senior counsel at Joseph Greenwald & Laake and another lawyer for Cosmann, said that employers often misunderstand their legal obligations by the ADA. Taylor Telford, Washington Post, 18 Aug. 2022 According to Tooze, hesitation occurs when local leaders and residents misunderstand the co-ownership design. Danielle Bernabe, Fortune, 2 Sep. 2022 Eilish, who was diagnosed at the age of 11 with the neurological disorder, which can cause uncontrollable and unwanted vocalization and/or repetitive movements, said people sometimes misunderstand what is happening. Lisa Respers France, CNN, 23 May 2022 The way Social Security benefits are taxed is somewhat convoluted and easy to misunderstand. Liz Weston, oregonlive, 27 Aug. 2022 Don’t misunderstand: The SALT deduction is miserable policy, and it should be killed, not expanded. The Editorial Board, WSJ, 31 July 2022 The model, for instance, may misunderstand the intent behind identity terms, failing to differentiate between benign and adversarial prompts. Stephanie Mlot, PCMAG, 26 Aug. 2022 Lots of people misunderstand the UN, the Security Council, and the MONUSCO. Nimi Princewill, CNN, 4 Aug. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'misunderstand.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History

First Known Use

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of misunderstand was in the 13th century

Dictionary Entries Near misunderstand

Cite this Entry

“Misunderstand.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/misunderstand. Accessed 28 Nov. 2022.

Kids Definition

misunderstand

verb

mis·​un·​der·​stand (ˌ)mis-ˌən-dər-ˈstand How to pronounce misunderstand (audio)
misunderstood -ˈstu̇d How to pronounce misunderstand (audio) ; misunderstanding
1
: to fail to understand
2
: to interpret incorrectly

More from Merriam-Webster on misunderstand

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