Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “understanding”

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.Understanding and comprehending

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.Friendly

understanding noun (AGREEMENT)

C1 [C] an informal agreement between people: It took several hours of discussion before they could come to/reach an understanding.Accepting and agreeingAccepting and agreeing reluctantlyApproving and approval 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.Being based on or depending on something

understanding

adjective uk   /ˌʌn.dəˈstæn.dɪŋ/ us    /-dɚ-/ approving
B2 describes someone 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.Sympathy and compassionEmpathy and sensitivitySympathy and compassion
(Definition of understanding from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of understanding?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

More meanings of “understanding”

Definitions of “understanding” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

blueprint

a photographic copy of an early plan for a building or machine

Word of the Day

Blog

Read our blog about how the English language behaves.

Learn More

New Words

Find words and meanings that have just started to be used in English, and let us know what you think of them.

Learn More