(un′dər stand′), v., -stood, -stand•ing.
- to perceive the meaning of;
grasp the idea of;
comprehend:to understand Spanish; I didn't understand your question.
- to be thoroughly familiar with;
apprehend clearly the character, nature, or subtleties of:to understand a trade.
- to assign a meaning to; interpret:He understood her suggestion as a complaint.
- to grasp the significance, implications, or importance of:He does not understand responsibility.
- to regard as firmly communicated; take as agreed or settled:I understand that you will repay this loan in 30 days.
- to learn or hear:I understand that you are going out of town.
- to accept as true; believe:I understand that you are trying to be truthful, but you are wrong.
- to construe in a particular way:You are to understand the phrase literally.
- to supply mentally (something that is not expressed).
- to perceive what is meant; grasp the information conveyed:She told them about it in simple words, hoping they would understand.
- to accept tolerantly or sympathetically:If you can't do it, I'll understand.
- to have knowledge or background, as on a particular subject:He understands about boats.
- 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.
1 . See know 1.
Middle English understanden, understonden, Old English understondan;
cognate with Dutch onderstaan. See under-, stand