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English definition of “understand”

understand

verb [I, T]
 
 
/ˌʌndəˈstænd/ (past tense and past participle understood)
KNOW MEANING A1 to know the meaning of something that someone says: I don't understand half of what he says. She didn't understand so I explained it again. I understand written French but I don't speak it very well.Understanding and comprehending
KNOW WHY/HOW A2 to know why or how something happens or works: [+ question word] We still don't fully understand how the brain works.Understanding and comprehending
KNOW FEELINGS B1 to know how someone feels or why they behave in a particular way: I don't understand James sometimes. [+ question word] I understand why she's so angry.Understanding and comprehendingEmpathy and sensitivitySympathy and compassion
I/we understand (that)... formal used to say that you believe something is true because someone has told you it is: I understand that the school is due to close next year.Believing
make yourself understood to say something to someone in a way that they understand: I had a little difficulty making myself understood.Understanding and comprehending
(Definition of understand from the Cambridge Learners Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
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