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2017 Word of the Year

misunderstood

[mis-uhn-der-stoo d] /ˌmɪs ʌn dərˈstʊd/
adjective
1.
improperly understood or interpreted.
2.
not appreciated.
Origin of misunderstood
1585-1595
First recorded in 1585-95; mis-1 + understood
Related forms
half-misunderstood, adjective
unmisunderstood, adjective

misunderstand

[mis-uhn-der-stand] /ˌmɪs ʌn dərˈstænd/
verb (used with object), misunderstood, misunderstanding.
1.
to take (words, statements, etc.) in a wrong sense; understand wrongly.
2.
to fail to understand or interpret rightly the words or behavior of.
Origin
First recorded in 1150-1200, misunderstand is from the Middle English word misunderstanden. See mis-1, understand
Related forms
misunderstander, noun
Synonyms
1. misconstrue, misapprehend, misinterpret.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for misunderstood
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Hester did not like the remark, and he fancied from her look she had misunderstood him.

    Weighed and Wanting George MacDonald
  • I make this statement now in order not to be misunderstood when later I may say that God must be this or that.

  • "You misunderstood me, Miss Gunn," said the doctor, now himself again.

  • She misunderstood: he laughed, but his nervousness was genuine.

    Alice Adams Booth Tarkington
  • Do you know what it is to be misunderstood—to be despised without deserving it?'

    Wilfrid Cumbermede George MacDonald
British Dictionary definitions for misunderstood

misunderstood

/ˌmɪsʌndəˈstʊd/
adjective
1.
not properly or sympathetically understood: a misunderstood work of art, a misunderstood adolescent

misunderstand

/ˌmɪsʌndəˈstænd/
verb -stands, -standing, -stood
1.
to fail to understand properly
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for misunderstood
adj.

1590s, past participle adjective from misunderstand.

misunderstand

v.

c.1200; see mis- (1) + understand. Related: Misunderstood; misunderstanding.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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