understanding

[uhn-der-stan-ding]
noun
1.
mental process of a person who comprehends; comprehension; personal interpretation: My understanding of the word does not agree with yours.
2.
intellectual faculties; intelligence; mind: a quick understanding.
3.
superior power of discernment; enlightened intelligence: With her keen understanding she should have become a leader.
4.
knowledge of or familiarity with a particular thing; skill in dealing with or handling something: an understanding of accounting practice.
5.
a state of cooperative or mutually tolerant relations between people: To him, understanding and goodwill were the supreme virtues.
6.
a mutual agreement, especially of a private, unannounced, or tacit kind: They had an understanding about who would do the dishes.
7.
an agreement regulating joint activity or settling differences, often informal or preliminary in character: After hours of negotiation, no understanding on a new contract was reached.
8.
Philosophy.
a.
the power of abstract thought; logical power.
b.
Kantianism. the mental faculty resolving the sensory manifold into the transcendental unity of apperception.
adjective
9.
characterized by understanding; prompted by, based on, or demonstrating comprehension, intelligence, discernment, empathy, or the like: an understanding attitude.

Origin:
before 1050; Middle English understandynge, late Old English understandincge (noun). See understand, -ing1, -ing2

understandingly, adverb
nonunderstanding, adjective, noun
nonunderstandingly, adverb
self-understanding, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged

understand

[uhn-der-stand]
verb (used with object), understood, understanding.
1.
to perceive the meaning of; grasp the idea of; comprehend: to understand Spanish; I didn't understand your question.
2.
to be thoroughly familiar with; apprehend clearly the character, nature, or subtleties of: to understand a trade.
3.
to assign a meaning to; interpret: He understood her suggestion as a complaint.
4.
to grasp the significance, implications, or importance of: He does not understand responsibility.
5.
to regard as firmly communicated; take as agreed or settled: I understand that you will repay this loan in 30 days.
6.
to learn or hear: I understand that you are going out of town.
7.
to accept as true; believe: I understand that you are trying to be truthful, but you are wrong.
8.
to construe in a particular way: You are to understand the phrase literally.
9.
to supply mentally (something that is not expressed).
verb (used without object), understood, understanding.
10.
to perceive what is meant; grasp the information conveyed: She told them about it in simple words, hoping they would understand.
11.
to accept tolerantly or sympathetically: If you can't do it, I'll understand.
12.
to have knowledge or background, as on a particular subject: He understands about boats.
13.
to have a systematic interpretation or rationale, as in a field or area of knowledge: He can repeat every rule in the book, but he just doesn't understand.

Origin:
before 900; Middle English understanden, understonden, Old English understondan; cognate with Dutch onderstaan. See under-, stand

preunderstand, verb, preunderstood, preunderstanding.


1. See know1.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
understand (ˌʌndəˈstænd)
 
vb , -stands, -standing, -stood
1.  (may take a clause as object) to know and comprehend the nature or meaning of: I understand you; I understand what you mean
2.  (may take a clause as object) to realize or grasp (something): he understands your position
3.  (tr; may take a clause as object) to assume, infer, or believe: I understand you are thinking of marrying
4.  (tr) to know how to translate or read: can you understand Spanish?
5.  (tr; may take a clause as object; often passive) to accept as a condition or proviso: it is understood that children must be kept quiet
6.  (tr) to be sympathetic to or compatible with: we understand each other
 
[Old English understandan; related to Old Frisian understonda, Middle High German understān step under; see under, stand]
 
under'standable
 
adj
 
under'standably
 
adv

understanding (ˌʌndəˈstændɪŋ)
 
n
1.  the ability to learn, judge, make decisions, etc; intelligence or sense
2.  personal opinion or interpretation of a subject: my understanding of your predicament
3.  a mutual agreement or compact, esp an informal or private one
4.  chiefly (Brit) an unofficial engagement to be married
5.  archaic philosophy the mind, esp the faculty of reason
6.  on the understanding that with the condition that; providing
 
adj
7.  sympathetic, tolerant, or wise towards people
8.  possessing judgment and intelligence
 
under'standingly
 
adv

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

understand
O.E. understandan "comprehend, grasp the idea of," probably lit. "stand in the midst of," from under + standan "to stand" (see stand). If this is the meaning, the under is not the usual word meaning "beneath," but from O.E. under, from PIE *nter- "between, among" (cf. Skt.
antar "among, between," L. inter "between, among," Gk. entera "intestines;" see inter-). But the exact notion is unclear. Perhaps the ult. sense is "be close to," cf. Gk. epistamai "I know how, I know," lit. "I stand upon." Similar formations are found in O.Fris. (understonda), M.Dan. (understande), while other Gmc. languages use compounds meaning "stand before" (cf. Ger. verstehen, represented in O.E. by forstanden ). For this concept, most I.E. languages use fig. extensions of compounds that lit. mean "put together," or "separate," or "take, grasp."

understanding
O.E. understandincge "comprehension," from understand (q.v.). Meaning "mutual agreement" is attested from 1803.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
And what stronger instance can be produced of the surprising ignorance and
  weakness of the understanding than the present.
They were no longer mere shows, distracting the spectator from the main theme
  of the drama, but helps to the understanding of it.
If they were at a perfect understanding in any part, no words would be
  necessary thereon.
To do it properly required a total understanding of the art and culture that
  gave rise to particular modes of writing.
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