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(1)   Know and comprehend the nature or meaning of
"She did not understand her husband"
"I understand what she means"
(2)   Perceive (an idea or situation) mentally
"Now I see!"
"I just can't see your point"
"Does she realize how important this decision is?"
"I don't understand the idea"
(3)   Believe to be the case
"I understand you have no previous experience?"
(4)   Make sense of a language
"She understands French"
"Can you read Greek?"
(5)   Be understanding of
"You don't need to explain--I understand!"


understanden from from under- "between" + , akin to O.Fris. understonda, M.Dan. understande, Dutch onderstaan


  1. To be aware of the meaning of.
    I understand German.
    I received your note, but I did not understand it.
  2. To believe, based on information.
    I understand that you have information for me.
  3. To impute meaning, character etc. that is not explicitly stated.
    But we cannot disappoint Grandma and Grandpa Smith, and that is what family is all about! Do you understand?!
    In this sense, the word is usually used in the past participle:
    In the imperative mood, the word “you” is usually understood.
  4. To apply values (axioms).


apprehend, comprehend, grasp, know, perceive, realise, grok believe