• Understanding


    • Rhymes: -ændɪŋ

    Full definition of understanding



    (countable and uncountable; plural understandings)
    1. (uncountable) Mental, sometimes emotional process of comprehension, assimilation of knowledge, which is subjective by its nature.
    2. (countable) Reason or intelligence, ability to grasp the full meaning of knowledge, ability to infer.
    3. (countable) Opinion, judgement or outlook.
      • 2013-08-03, The machine of a new soul, The yawning gap in neuroscientists’ understanding of their topic is in the intermediate scale of the brain’s anatomy. Science has a passable knowledge of how individual nerve cells, known as neurons, work. It also knows which visible lobes and ganglia of the brain do what. But how the neurons are organised in these lobes and ganglia remains obscure.
    4. According to my understanding, the situation is quite perilous. I wonder if you see it this way, too.
    5. (countable) An informal contract, mutual agreement.
      I thought we had an understanding - you do the dishes, and I throw the trash.
    6. (countable) A reconciliation of differences.
      The parties of the negotiation have managed to come to an understanding.
    7. (uncountable) Sympathy.
      He showed much understanding when he found out of my troublesome familial history.
    8. All that people individually sense and feel of themselves.



    1. Showing compassion.


    1. Present participle of understand
      • 2013-06-07, David Simpson, Fantasy of navigation, It is tempting to speculate about the incentives or compulsions that might explain why anyone would take to the skies in the basket a balloon;  ; or perhaps to muse on the irrelevance of the borders that separate nation states and keep people from understanding their shared environment.
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