Definitions for understandˌʌn dərˈstænd

This page provides all possible meanings and translations of the word understand

Random House Webster's College Dictionary

un•der•standˌʌn dərˈstænd(v.)-stood, -stand•ing.

  1. (v.t.)to perceive the meaning of; comprehend:

    to understand a poem.

  2. to be familiar with; have a thorough knowledge of:

    to understand a trade.

  3. to interpret or comprehend in a specified way:

    She understood his suggestion as a complaint.

  4. to grasp the significance or importance of:

    He doesn't understand responsibility.

  5. to regard as agreed or settled; assume:

    We understand that you will repay this loan in 30 days.

  6. to learn or hear:

    I understand you were ill.

  7. to infer (something not stated).

  8. (v.i.)to perceive what is meant; comprehend.

  9. to accept something tolerantly or sympathetically:

    If you can't do it, I will understand.

  10. to have knowledge about a particular subject:

    She understands about boats.

Origin of understand:

bef. 900; ME; OE understondan; c. D onderstaan

Princeton's WordNet

  1. understand(verb)

    know and comprehend the nature or meaning of

    "She did not understand her husband"; "I understand what she means"

  2. understand, realize, realise, see(verb)

    perceive (an idea or situation) mentally

    "Now I see!"; "I just can't see your point"; "Does she realize how important this decision is?"; "I don't understand the idea"

  3. understand, read, interpret, translate(verb)

    make sense of a language

    "She understands French"; "Can you read Greek?"

  4. understand, infer(verb)

    believe to be the case

    "I understand you have no previous experience?"

  5. sympathize, sympathise, empathize, empathise, understand(verb)

    be understanding of

    "You don't need to explain--I understand!"

Kernerman English Learner's Dictionary

  1. understand(verb)ˌʌn dərˈstænd

    to know what sb means

    She was crying so hard, I couldn't understand her.; I'm sorry, I don't understand. Do you speak English?

  2. understandˌʌn dərˈstænd

    to know the reason for sth, or how sth works or is done

    I don't understand why she didn't turn up.; I don't understand how to use this camera.; You need to understand the rules before you can play.

  3. understandˌʌn dərˈstænd

    to realize why sb feels or behaves in a particular way

    I just don't understand why she stays with him.; My parents don't understand me.; I understand, if you don't feel like coming

  4. understandˌʌn dərˈstænd

    to believe sth is true after being told

    We understand the prisoners will be released soon.

  5. understandˌʌn dərˈstænd

    to communicate what you mean to sb

    We made ourselves understood with hand signals.


  1. understand(Verb)

    To be aware of the meaning of.

  2. understand(Verb)

    To believe, based on information.

    I understand that you have information for me.

  3. understand(Verb)

    To impute meaning, character etc. that is not explicitly stated.

  4. understand(Verb)

    To apply values (axioms).

  5. Origin: From understanden, from understandan, from under + standanan, equivalent to under- + standan. Cognate with understunda, understantan, Middle understande. Compare also onderstaan, unterstehen. More at inter-, stand.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Understand(verb)

    to have just and adequate ideas of; to apprehended the meaning or intention of; to have knowledge of; to comprehend; to know; as, to understand a problem in Euclid; to understand a proposition or a declaration; the court understands the advocate or his argument; to understand the sacred oracles; to understand a nod or a wink

  2. Understand(verb)

    to be apprised, or have information, of; to learn; to be informed of; to hear; as, I understand that Congress has passed the bill

  3. Understand(verb)

    to recognize or hold as being or signifying; to suppose to mean; to interpret; to explain

  4. Understand(verb)

    to mean without expressing; to imply tacitly; to take for granted; to assume

  5. Understand(verb)

    to stand under; to support

  6. Understand(verb)

    to have the use of the intellectual faculties; to be an intelligent being

  7. Understand(verb)

    to be informed; to have or receive knowledge


  1. Understand?

    Understand? is the fourth album by Chicago post-hardcore band Naked Raygun, released in 1989 through Caroline Records.

British National Corpus

  1. Spoken Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'understand' in Spoken Corpus Frequency: #676

  2. Written Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'understand' in Written Corpus Frequency: #456

  3. Verbs Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'understand' in Verbs Frequency: #91

Translations for understand

Kernerman English Multilingual Dictionary


to see or know the meaning of (something)

I can't understand his absence; Speak slowly to foreigners so that they'll understand you.

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