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[mis-uhn-der-stand] /ˌmɪs ʌn dərˈstænd/
verb (used with object), misunderstood, misunderstanding.
to take (words, statements, etc.) in a wrong sense; understand wrongly.
to fail to understand or interpret rightly the words or behavior of.
Origin of misunderstand
1150-1200; Middle English misunderstanden. See mis-1, understand
Related forms
misunderstander, noun
1. misconstrue, misapprehend, misinterpret. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for misunderstand
  • Do not think because you misunderstand a single article related to corals you know anything about their biology.
  • There are definitely people that misunderstand the logistics of my day-to-day life.
  • Please do not misunderstand my intentions by these remarks.
  • They are convincing because they misunderstand the situation in, well, the way that ignorant people misunderstand it.
  • But to suppose that an answer to global warming can be found by waiting is to misunderstand the nature of the problem.
  • It's easy to see why many people may misunderstand these seemingly paradoxical phenomenon.
  • Also, you misunderstand why certain thinkers are respected, it is because of the value of the ideas that put forth.
  • People may misunderstand your intentions, so hold off on making major presentations.
  • Unfortunately, all of these proposals to spend money at home misunderstand the nature of foreign reserves.
  • The software, which relies on keywords to generate buy and sell orders, may misunderstand the context surrounding a headline.
British Dictionary definitions for misunderstand


verb -stands, -standing, -stood
to fail to understand properly
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for misunderstand

c.1200; see mis- (1) + understand. Related: Misunderstood; misunderstanding.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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