[ mis-uhn-der-stan-ding ]
/ ˌmɪs ʌn dərˈstæn dɪŋ /


failure to understand correctly; mistake as to meaning or intent.
a disagreement or quarrel.

Origin of misunderstanding

late Middle English word dating back to 1400–50; see origin at mis-1, understanding

Related forms

mis·un·der·stand·ing·ly, adverb

Definition for misunderstanding (2 of 2)


[ mis-uhn-der-stand ]
/ ˌmɪs ʌn dərˈstænd /

verb (used with object), mis·un·der·stood, mis·un·der·stand·ing.

to take (words, statements, etc.) in a wrong sense; understand wrongly.
to fail to understand or interpret rightly the words or behavior of.

Origin of misunderstand

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

Related forms

mis·un·der·stand·er, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for misunderstanding

British Dictionary definitions for misunderstanding (1 of 2)


/ (ˌmɪsʌndəˈstændɪŋ) /


a failure to understand properly
a disagreement

British Dictionary definitions for misunderstanding (2 of 2)


/ (ˌmɪsʌndəˈstænd) /

verb -stands, -standing or -stood

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