- An example of understand is to comprehend astrophysics.
- An example of understand is to realize the pain of someone who just lost a loved one.
transitive verb-·stood′, -·stand′ing
- to get or perceive the meaning of; know or grasp what is meant by; comprehend: to understand a question
- to gather or assume from what is heard, known, etc.; infer: are we to understand that you want to go?
- to take as meant or meaning; interpret: to understand his silence as refusal
- to take for granted or as a fact: it is understood that no one is to leave
- to supply mentally (an idea, word, etc.), as for grammatical completeness
- to know thoroughly; grasp or perceive clearly and fully the nature, character, functioning, etc. of
- to have a sympathetic rapport with: no one understands me
Origin of understandMiddle English understanden from Old English understandan, literally , to stand among, hence observe, understand
- to have understanding, comprehension, sympathetic awareness, etc., either in general or with reference to something specific
- to be informed; believe: he is, I understand, no longer here
verbun·der·stood, un·der·stand·ing, un·der·stands
- a. To become aware of the nature and significance of; know or comprehend: She understands the difficulty involved.b. To become aware of the intended meaning of (a person or remark, for example): We understand what they're saying; we just disagree with it. When he began describing his eccentric theories, we could no longer understand him.c. To know and be tolerant or sympathetic toward: hoped that they would understand my complaint.
- To know thoroughly by close contact or long experience with: That teacher understands children. I understand the basics of car repair.
- a. To learn indirectly or infer, as from hearsay: I understand his departure was unexpected. Am I to understand you are staying the night?b. To assume to be or accept as agreed: It is understood that the fee will be $50.
- To supply or add (words or a meaning, for example) mentally: A verb is understood at the end of the statement “Yes, let's.”
- a. To have understanding, knowledge, or comprehension.b. To have sympathy or tolerance: You're upset. I understand.
- To learn something indirectly or secondhand; gather.
Origin of understandMiddle English understanden from Old English understandan under- under- standan to stand ; see stā- in Indo-European roots.
(third-person singular simple present understands, present participle understanding, simple past and past participle understood)
- To be aware of the meaning of.
- I understand German.
- I received your note, but I did not understand it.
- To believe, based on information.
- I understand that you have information for me.
- To impute meaning, character etc. that is not explicitly stated.
- But we cannot disappoint Grandma and Grandpa Smith, and that is what family is all about! Do you understand?!
- In this sense, the word is usually used in the past participle:
- In the imperative mood, the word “you" is usually understood.
- Objects: text, word, sentence, note, etc.
From Middle English understanden, from Old English understandan (“to understand"), from Proto-Germanic *under (“between") + *standanÄ… (“to stand"), equivalent to Old English under- (“between, inter-") + standan (“to stand"). Cognate with Eastern Frisian understunda (“to understand"), Old High German understantan (“to understand"), Middle Danish understande (“to understand"). Compare also Dutch onderstaan (“to undertake, presume"), German unterstehen (“to be subordinate"). More at inter-, stand.