Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “understanding”

See all translations

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.
More examples

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.
More examples
  • 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)
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

sail

When a boat or a ship sails, it travels on the water.

Word of the Day

Byronic, Orwellian and Darwinian: adjectives from names.

by Liz Walter,
April 15, 2015
Becoming an adjective is a strange kind of memorial, but it is often a sign of a person having had real influence on the world. Science is full of examples, from Hippocrates, the Greek medic born around 460 BC, who gave his name to the Hippocratic Oath still used by doctors today,

Read More 

dumbwalking noun

April 20, 2015
walking slowly, without paying attention to the world around you because you are consulting a smartphone He told me dumbwalking probably wouldn’t be a long-term problem.

Read More