View synonyms for misunderstand


[ mis-uhn-der-stand ]

verb (used with object)

, mis·un·der·stood, mis·un·der·stand·ing.
  1. to take (words, statements, etc.) in a wrong sense; understand wrongly.

    Synonyms: misinterpret, misapprehend, misconstrue

  2. to fail to understand or interpret rightly the words or behavior of.


/ ˌmɪsʌndəˈstænd /


  1. to fail to understand properly

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Other Words From

  • misun·der·stander noun

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Word History and Origins

Origin of misunderstand1

First recorded in 1150–1200, misunderstand is from the Middle English word misunderstanden. See mis- 1, understand

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Example Sentences

Judges have routinely ruled that people who signed affidavits to that effect either misunderstood the process or were wrong.

I don’t deny the existence of the arrow, but I do suggest that the “box mentality” has led us to misunderstand what is happening in the universe and even blinded us to the beauty that it is creating.

It’s common for even native English speakers to misunderstand or mischaracterize something on their application, said Anne Paxton, an attorney at the Unemployment Law Project, a legal aid organization based in Washington state.

There’s also an interesting thread in the book about being misunderstood while trying to figure yourself out at the same time.

From Fortune

If it set back anyone it was probably a generation of psychology students who may have misunderstood this.

And he says that those who accuse Napoleon of killing off democracy misunderstand politics in 19th century Europe.

Contraception is not abortion, and those who misunderstand this subject do harm to the pro-life cause.

It is a wakeup call for how poorly misunderstand our movement is.

To say that Nipple appears to misunderstand women and their sexual desires is an understatement.

The House Republicans, and, unfortunately, many of my brothers and sisters in the media, misunderstand what is going on here.

But you are English, or you are American; and men of those countries never misunderstand a woman, even if she is in trouble.

You only misunderstand each other, and with a little good will on both sides you can easily get out of your tangle.'

You misunderstand me, my friend; I want to know whether he attacked him with any evil intent?

The active temperament is almost bound to misunderstand the imaginative or artistic spirit and its difficulties.

Do not misunderstand me, however, and imagine that I wish to exalt Chopin at the expense of another great musician.