Definition of understanding noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//ˌʌndəˈstændɪŋ//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˌʌndərˈstændɪŋ//
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  1. 1  [uncountable, singular] understanding (of something) the knowledge that somebody has about a particular subject or situation The committee has little or no understanding of the problem. The existence of God is beyond human understanding (= humans cannot know whether God exists or not). Most of the students have a sound understanding of English grammar.
  2. 2  [countable, usually singular] an informal agreement We finally came to an understanding about what hours we would work. We have this understanding that nobody talks about work over lunch.
  3. 3  [uncountable, singular] the ability to understand why people behave in a particular way and the willingness to forgive them when they do something wrong We must tackle the problem with sympathy and understanding. We are looking for a better understanding between the two nations. Try to show a little more understanding.
  4. 4  [uncountable, countable] understanding (of something) the particular way in which somebody understands something synonym interpretation My understanding of the situation is… The statement is open to various understandings.
  5. Word Familyunderstand verb (misunderstand)understandable adjectivemisunderstood adjectiveunderstanding adjective noun (misunderstanding)Extra examples After spending a month living together, they have gained a better understanding of each other. All of this research informs our understanding of how disease processes work. Greater contact between the two groups should lead to a better mutual understanding. He didn’t show much understanding towards her when she lost her job. He had a poor understanding of international law. He showed a full understanding of the sequence of events. How children change so quickly is beyond my understanding. I have a clear understanding with any lawyer I hire. I thought you gave me the book on the understanding that I could keep it. It allowed him to deepen his degree of understanding even further. It was our understanding that you had already been informed. My understanding of the arrangements is that David is buying the tickets and we’re meeting him at the theatre. Our goal was to build shared understanding between the two communities. Scientists are seeking a better understanding of the process. She gave me a look filled with sympathetic understanding. She has only a limited understanding of what the job involves. She suddenly had a new understanding for her mother. Some religions have a common understanding of the nature of a divine being. The association fosters a deeper understanding between prisons and the public. The book aims to give children a balanced understanding of food and the environment. The idea of eternity is beyond our full understanding. The students seem to have a reasonable level of understanding of how genes work. There is an unspoken understanding that Hugh will be in charge while Jane is away. They came to an understanding on when final payment was to be made. This change of policy reflects a growing understanding of the extent of the problem. This creates a better understanding of organic farming. You need to read more widely to gain a proper understanding of the issue. a book that will deepen your understanding of global warming a force for understanding among the races a level of cruelty that passes human understanding a tacit understanding on the need for a pay rise an improved understanding of the mechanisms involved an understanding between the companies to fight against the proposed tax reform with a view to increasing public understanding of the functions and institutions of government His writings reflect a good understanding of the society he lived in. Our growing understanding of genetics raises some complex issues. Please try to show a little more understanding. She has always shown great understanding of local political structures. Students will gain an active understanding of the workings of Parliament. The course should help enhance your understanding of the treatments available. The vastness of the universe is beyond human understanding. There is a general lack of understanding about the problems facing newly-arrived immigrants. You will need to have a thorough understanding of financial systems.Idioms
    on the understanding that…
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    (formal) used to introduce a condition that must be agreed before something else can happen They agreed to the changes on the understanding that they would be introduced gradually.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: understanding

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