follow Dictionary.com

Today's Word of the Day means...

understand

[uhn-der-stand] /ˌʌn dərˈstænd/
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
900
before 900; Middle English understanden, understonden, Old English understondan; cognate with Dutch onderstaan. See under-, stand
Related forms
preunderstand, verb, preunderstood, preunderstanding.
Synonyms
1. See know1 .
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source
British Dictionary definitions for preunderstood

understand

/ˌʌndəˈstænd/
verb -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.
(transitive; may take a clause as object) to assume, infer, or believe I understand you are thinking of marrying
4.
(transitive) to know how to translate or read can you understand Spanish?
5.
(transitive; 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.
(transitive) to be sympathetic to or compatible with we understand each other
Derived Forms
understandable, adjective
understandably, adverb
Word Origin
Old English understandan; related to Old Frisian understonda, Middle High German understān step under; see under, stand
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for preunderstood
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."
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
Idioms and Phrases with preunderstood
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Cite This Source

Word of The Day

Difficulty index for understand

Most English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for preunderstood

0
0
Scrabble Words With Friends