Etymology: Middle English, from Old English understandan, from under + standan to stand
Date: before 12th century
a. to grasp the meaning of <understand Russian> b. to grasp the reasonableness of <his behavior is hard to understand> c. to have thorough or technical acquaintance with or expertness in the practice of <understand finance> d. to be thoroughly familiar with the character and propensities of <understands children> 2. to accept as a fact or truth or regard as plausible without utter certainty <we understand that he is returning from abroad> 3. to interpret in one of a number of possible ways 4. to supply in thought as though expressed <“to be married” is commonly understood after the word engaged> intransitive verb 1. to have understanding ; have the power of comprehension 2. to achieve a grasp of the nature, significance, or explanation of something 3. to believe or infer something to be the case 4. to show a sympathetic or tolerant attitude toward something • understandability noun • understandable adjective Synonyms: understand, comprehend, appreciate mean to have a clear or complete idea of. understand and comprehend are very often interchangeable. understand may, however, stress the fact of having attained a firm mental grasp of something <orders that were fully understood and promptly obeyed>. comprehend may stress the process of coming to grips with something intellectually <I have trouble comprehending your reasons for doing this>. appreciate implies a just evaluation or judgment of a thing's value or nature <failed to appreciate the risks involved>.
New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.