What does understand mean?

Definitions for understand
ˌʌn dərˈstændun·der·stand

Here are all the possible meanings and translations of the word understand.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. understandverb

    know and comprehend the nature or meaning of

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

  2. understand, realize, realise, seeverb

    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, translateverb

    make sense of a language

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

  4. understand, inferverb

    believe to be the case

    "I understand you have no previous experience?"

  5. sympathize, sympathise, empathize, empathise, understandverb

    be understanding of

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


  1. understandverb

    To be aware of the meaning of.

  2. understandverb

    To believe, based on information.

    I understand that you have information for me.

  3. understandverb

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

  4. understandverb

    To apply values (axioms).

  5. Etymology: 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.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. To Understandverb

    preterite understood.

    Etymology: understandan , Saxon.

    The Ulysses of Ovid upbraids his ignorance, that he understood not the shield for which he pleaded. Dryden.

    His sin might have been greater in that respect: but that it was not so to be understood, appears by the opposition. Edward Stillingfleet.

    The most learned interpreters understood the words of sin, and not of Abel. John Locke.

  2. To Understandverb

    I have given thee a wise and understanding heart. Chronicles.

    I understood of the evil Eliashib did. Neh. xiii. 7.

    I understand by Sanga, you have been
    Solicited against the commonwealth
    By one Umbrenus. Ben Jonson, Cataline.

    All my soul be
    Imparadis’d in you, in whom alone
    I understand, and grow, and see. John Donne.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Understandverb

    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. Understandverb

    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. Understandverb

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

  4. Understandverb

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

  5. Understandverb

    to stand under; to support

  6. Understandverb

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

  7. Understandverb

    to be informed; to have or receive knowledge

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Understand

    un-dėr-stand′, v.t. to comprehend: to have just ideas of: to know thoroughly: to be informed of: to learn: to suppose to mean: to mean without expressing: to imply.—v.i. to have the use of the intellectual faculties: to be informed: to learn.—adj. Understan′dable.—p.adj. Understan′ded (obs.), understood (with of).—n. Understan′ding, the act of comprehending: the faculty or the act of the mind by which it understands or thinks: the power to understand: knowledge: exact comprehension: agreement of minds: harmony.—adj. knowing, skilful.—adv. Understan′dingly.—Understands′, in Scotch Version of Psalms, used for Understandest. [A.S. understandan, to stand under or in the midst of a thing.]

Editors Contribution

  1. understand

    To feel and know intuitively.

    They did understand the nature of their love, unity and engagement and knew their marriage was for life.

    Submitted by MaryC on February 15, 2020  

  2. understand

    To perceive intuitively through the brain, conscience, consciousness, heart, mind, spirit, soul and subconscious.

    We do understand each other and trust the unity of our soul and love.

    Submitted by MaryC on February 15, 2020  

Matched Categories

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

How to pronounce understand?

How to say understand in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of understand in Chaldean Numerology is: 3

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of understand in Pythagorean Numerology is: 3

Examples of understand in a Sentence

  1. Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid:

    Why don't we wait until we see what happens. We have just three weeks left, as I understand, and we should know whether we're going to have a deal with the Iranians, i personally am going to wait and see what happens, whether we have a deal and then look at all the legislation at that time.

  2. Mikhail Zygar.Zygar:

    We tried to present it as if everyone during the Russian Revolution had a Twitter account. So it's now a bit like following the revolution live on a Facebook news feed, young Russians aren't reading books the same way older Russians did, so we are bringing them these stories to their mobile phones in a way they can understand.

  3. Nancy Crampton-Brophy:

    Nancy Brophy and Dan Brophy had an unusually healthy and vibrant and marriage, right up until the very end, after you've heard all the evidence in this case we are certain that you will understand that Nancy Brophy did not kill her husband.

  4. Ezra Dolezal:

    We are her birth parents, we do not understand why she feels it's necessary to misrepresent her ethnicity.

  5. Paul Burton:

    We're going to have to wait for a couple of months yet, until we can see how those data develop and mature to understand when will that additional booster dose -- if needed -- have to be given, i think we can be confident, Wolf, getting a booster shot will provide protection throughout the holiday season and throughout these winter months.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for understand

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    dark brown mustelid of woodlands of Eurasia that gives off an unpleasant odor when threatened
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