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English definition of “understanding”

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understanding

noun uk   /ˌʌn.dəˈstæn.dɪŋ/ us    /-dɚ-/

understanding noun (KNOWLEDGE)

B2 [U] knowledge about a subject, situation, etc. or about how something works: She doesn't have any understanding of politics/human nature/what it takes to be a good manager. My understanding of the agreement (= what I think it means) is that they will pay £50,000 over two years.
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understanding noun (SYMPATHY)

B2 [S or U] a positive relationship between two people or groups in which they feel sympathy for each other: For peace to exist in the region there needs to be a much improved understanding between all the parties concerned.

understanding noun (AGREEMENT)

C1 [C] an informal agreement between people: It took several hours of discussion before they could come to/reach an understanding.on the understanding (that) If you do something on the understanding that something else can or will happen, you do it because someone else has promised that it can or will: We bought the cupboard on the understanding that we could return it if it wasn't suitable.

understanding

adjective uk   /ˌʌn.dəˈstæn.dɪŋ/ us    /-dɚ-/ approving
B2 An understanding person who has the ability to know how other people are feeling, and can forgive them if they do something wrong: He had expected her to be horrified, but she was actually very understanding.
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  • She's very understanding - you feel you can really open your heart to her.
  • Look, it's not Tom's fault - you could be a little more understanding!
  • I hadn't expected her to be so understanding.
  • I try very hard to be understanding.
  • Fortunately, my girlfriend is very understanding.
(Definition of understanding from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
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