understanding Meaning in the Cambridge English Dictionary Cambridge dictionaries logo

Meaning of “understanding” in the English Dictionary

"understanding" in British English

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understandingnoun

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 ofpolitics/​humannature/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 (AGREEMENT)

C1 [C] an ​informalagreement 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 ​sofa on the understanding that we could ​return it if it didn't ​fit in the ​room.

understandingadjective

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 ​openyourheart 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 Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"understanding" in American English

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understandingnoun

 us   /ˌʌn·dərˈstæn·dɪŋ/
  • understanding noun (BELIEF)

[C usually sing] something that you have ​reason to ​believe: [+ that clause] Ours was a ​generationbrought up with the understanding (= ​belief) that ​sciencemeantprogress. [C usually sing] An understanding is also an ​informalagreement between ​people: The two ​sides have come to/​reached an understanding about the ​sale of the ​house.
  • understanding noun (KNOWLEDGE)

[U] knowledge of a ​particular thing: He doesn’t have any ​real understanding of ​mathematics. [U] Understanding is also a ​feeling of ​kindness and ​caringbased on ​knowledge, esp. of the ​causes of ​behavior: The ​values he had in ​mind were ​simplyfamilylove and understanding.

understandingadjective

 us   /ˌʌn·dərˈstæn·dɪŋ/
  • understanding adjective (CARING)

sympathetic and ​caring: an understanding ​friend
(Definition of understanding from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

"understanding" in Business English

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understandingnoun [C]

uk   us   /ˌʌndəˈstændɪŋ/
an informal ​agreement: Taiwan and Hong Kong reached an understanding for a five-year ​commercialairagreement.
(Definition of understanding from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
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