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 This is why digital leadership begins with the creation of personas and a fundamental understanding of the new employer-employee social contract. Elizabeth Kiehner, Forbes, 10 Sep. 2021 Ten Cate also writes in his study that the discovery may change scientists' understanding of vocal evolution. Emily Adams, USA TODAY, 10 Sep. 2021 Those reports said Weier was cooperative with the treatment personnel and expressed an understanding of the offense. Steven Martinez, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 10 Sep. 2021 Friedman and Grace Gallucci, director of NOACA, said in separate interviews that the Port, the City of Cleveland, and Cuyahoga County have developed an understanding about how the three entities would fill the $7.5 million gap. Steven Litt, cleveland, 9 Sep. 2021 To support this search, Smithsonian has compiled a list of 12 free resources that deepen readers’ understanding of the September 11 attacks and their complicated, painful legacy. Nora Mcgreevy, Smithsonian Magazine, 9 Sep. 2021 Rather than throwing Muslims under the bus, some US Sikhs want to instead improve broader understanding of their distinct culture. Ananya Bhattacharya, Quartz, 9 Sep. 2021 They will eventually be ferried back to Earth, helping scientists study the mysteries of the red planet in much the same way that lunar samples from the Apollo and Soviet missions helped advance understanding of the moon. The New York Times, Arkansas Online, 8 Sep. 2021 His driver number is 3, an homage to the NASCAR legend Dale Earnhardt and an exhilaratingly American choice in a sport that reeks so intensely of European aristocracy that true fandom requires a basic understanding of Monaco’s whole conceptual deal. Amanda Mull, The Atlantic, 7 Sep. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Davis thinks more people like her, who grew up in low-income neighborhoods, might be more understanding and calm while policing similar communities. Stephanie Casanova, chicagotribune.com, 7 Sep. 2021 Everyone, including parents and spectators, has been very understanding, and that’s gratifying. Gary Curreri, sun-sentinel.com, 1 Sep. 2021 All of this is happening at a time when parents have fewer options to work from home and fewer financial resources, as states scale back unemployment benefits and companies are less understanding. Author: Heather Long, Anchorage Daily News, 7 Aug. 2021 Our experience has been that our guests have been extremely understanding and appreciative of the efforts of the hotel team. Chelsea Davis, Forbes, 21 June 2021 Naomi Osaka wants everyone to be more understanding. Benjamin Vanhoose, PEOPLE.com, 23 Aug. 2021 All of this is happening at a time when parents have fewer options to work from home and fewer financial resources, as states scale back unemployment benefits and companies are less understanding. Author: Heather Long, Anchorage Daily News, 7 Aug. 2021 Mario Garcia, Mexico’s head of delegation in Tokyo, wasn’t so understanding. Mark Zeigler, San Diego Union-Tribune, 29 July 2021 Some of Rick’s decoys accept that cruel truth more readily than others - many choose death over life as a decoy, some are oddly understanding, and others resist reality until the bitter end. Dani Di Placido, Forbes, 29 June 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

13 Sep 2021

Cite this Entry

“Understanding.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/understanding. Accessed 24 Sep. 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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