Understanding Un`der*stand"ing, n. 1. The act of one who understands a thing, in any sense of the verb; knowledge; discernment; comprehension; interpretation; explanation. [1913 Webster]

2. An agreement of opinion or feeling; adjustment of differences; harmony; anything mutually understood or agreed upon; as, to come to an understanding with another. [1913 Webster]

He hoped the loyalty of his subjects would concur with him in the preserving of a good understanding between him and his people. --Clarendon. [1913 Webster]

3. The power to understand; the intellectual faculty; the intelligence; the rational powers collectively conceived an designated; the higher capacities of the intellect; the power to distinguish truth from falsehood, and to adapt means to ends. [1913 Webster]

But there is a spirit in man; and the inspiration of the Almighty giveth them understanding. --Job xxxii. 8. [1913 Webster]

The power of perception is that which we call the understanding. Perception, which we make the act of the understanding, is of three sorts: 1. The perception of ideas in our mind; 2. The perception of the signification of signs; 3. The perception of the connection or repugnancy, agreement or disagreement, that there is between any of our ideas. All these are attributed to the understanding, or perceptive power, though it be the two latter only that use allows us to say we understand. --Locke. [1913 Webster]

In its wider acceptation, understanding is the entire power of perceiving an conceiving, exclusive of the sensibility: the power of dealing with the impressions of sense, and composing them into wholes, according to a law of unity; and in its most comprehensive meaning it includes even simple apprehension. --Coleridge. [1913 Webster]

4. Specifically, the discursive faculty; the faculty of knowing by the medium or use of general conceptions or relations. In this sense it is contrasted with, and distinguished from, the reason. [1913 Webster]

I use the term understanding, not for the noetic faculty, intellect proper, or place of principles, but for the dianoetic or discursive faculty in its widest signification, for the faculty of relations or comparisons; and thus in the meaning in which ``verstand'' is now employed by the Germans. --Sir W. Hamilton. [1913 Webster]

Syn: Sense; intelligence; perception. See {Sense}. [1913 Webster]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.


Look at other dictionaries:

  • understanding — I (agreement) noun accord, accordance, alliance, arrangement, common view, compact, compliance, concord, concordance, congruence, consentaneity, contract, cooperation, covenant, harmony, like mindedness, meeting of minds, mutual pledge, pact,… …   Law dictionary

  • understanding — [adj] accepting, tolerant compassionate, considerate, discerning, empathetic, forbearing, forgiving, generous, kind, kindly, patient, perceptive, responsive, sensitive, sympathetic; concepts 401,542 Ant. intolerant, unaccepting understanding [n1] …   New thesaurus

  • Understanding — Un der*stand ing ([u^]n d[ e]r*st[a^]nd [i^]ng), a. Knowing; intelligent; skillful; as, he is an understanding man. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • understanding — UK US /ˌʌndəˈstændɪŋ/ noun [C] ► an informal agreement: »Taiwan and Hong Kong reached an understanding for a five year commercial air agreement. → See Note AGREEMENT(Cf. ↑agreement) …   Financial and business terms

  • understanding — [un΄dərstan′diŋ] n. 1. the mental quality, act, or state of a person who understands; comprehension, knowledge, discernment, sympathetic awareness, etc. 2. the power or ability to think, learn, judge, etc.; intelligence; sense 3. a specific… …   English World dictionary

  • understanding — (n.) O.E. understandincge comprehension, from UNDERSTAND (Cf. understand) (q.v.). Meaning mutual agreement is attested from 1803 …   Etymology dictionary

  • understanding — 1 *reason, intuition Analogous words: comprehension, apprehension (see under APPREHEND): *discernment, discrimination, insight, penetration 2 *agreement, accord …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • understanding — ► NOUN 1) the ability to understand something. 2) the power of abstract thought; intellect. 3) an individual s perception or judgement of a situation. 4) sympathetic awareness or tolerance. 5) an informal or unspoken agreement or arrangement. ►… …   English terms dictionary

  • understanding — noun 1 knowledge of a subject, of how sth works, etc. ADJECTIVE ▪ complete, comprehensive, full ▪ He showed a full understanding of the sequence of events. ▪ growing ▪ accurate …   Collocations dictionary

  • understanding — I adj. understanding about, of II n. agreement 1) to arrive at, come to, reach an understanding 2) a clear; secret; tacit; verbal; written understanding 3) an understanding about; with (we reached a tacit understanding with them about the matter) …   Combinatory dictionary

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