verb (understood; -standing) Etymology: Middle English, from Old English understandan, from under + standan to stand Date: before 12th century transitive verb 1. 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 noununderstandable 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.


Look at other dictionaries:

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  • Understand — Un der*stand , v. i. 1. To have the use of the intellectual faculties; to be an intelligent being. [1913 Webster] Imparadised in you, in whom alone I understand, and grow, and see. Donne. [1913 Webster] 2. To be informed; to have or receive… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

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  • understand — [v1] appreciate, comprehend accept, apprehend, be aware, be conscious of, be with it*, catch, catch on, conceive, deduce, discern, distinguish, explain, fathom, figure out, find out, follow, get*, get the hang of*, get the idea*, get the picture* …   New thesaurus

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  • understand — ► VERB (past and past part. understood) 1) perceive the intended meaning of (words, a language, or a speaker). 2) perceive the significance, explanation, or cause of. 3) interpret or view in a particular way. 4) infer from information received.… …   English terms dictionary

  • understand */*/*/ — UK [ˌʌndə(r)ˈstænd] / US [ˌʌndərˈstænd] verb [never progressive] Word forms understand : present tense I/you/we/they understand he/she/it understands present participle understanding past tense understood UK [ˌʌndə(r)ˈstʊd] / US [ˌʌndərˈstʊd]… …   English dictionary

  • understand — un|der|stand W1S1 [ˌʌndəˈstænd US ər ] v past tense and past participle understood [ ˈstud] [not in progressive] ▬▬▬▬▬▬▬ 1¦(meaning)¦ 2¦(fact/idea)¦ 3¦(person/feelings)¦ 4¦(believe/think)¦ 5 give somebody to understand (that) 6 be understood… …   Dictionary of contemporary English

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