Understand Definition

understanding, understands, understood
understanding, understands, understood
To get or perceive the meaning of; know or grasp what is meant by; comprehend.
To understand a question.
Webster's New World
To gather or assume from what is heard, known, etc.; infer.
Are we to understand that you want to go?
Webster's New World
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.
American Heritage
To be informed; believe.
He is, I understand, no longer here.
Webster's New World
To take as meant or meaning; interpret.
To understand his silence as refusal.
Webster's New World

Origin of Understand

  • 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.

    From Wiktionary

  • Middle English understanden from Old English understandan under- under- standan to stand stā- in Indo-European roots

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition


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