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 formsmis·un·der·stand·ing·ly, adverb

Synonyms for misunderstanding

Antonyms for misunderstanding



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 formsmis·un·der·stand·er, noun

Synonyms for misunderstand

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for misunderstanding

Contemporary Examples of misunderstanding

Historical Examples of misunderstanding

British Dictionary definitions for misunderstanding



a failure to understand properly
a disagreement


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

Word Origin and History for misunderstanding

"want of understanding," mid-15c., from present participle of misunderstand.

When misunderstanding serves others as an advantage, one is helpless to make oneself understood. [Lionel Trilling]

Meaning "dissention, disagreement" is first recorded 1640s.



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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper