characterized by understanding; prompted by, based on, or demonstrating comprehension, intelligence, discernment, empathy, or the like: an understanding attitude.

Origin of understanding

before 1050; Middle English understandynge, late Old English understandincge (noun). See understand, -ing1, -ing2
Related formsun·der·stand·ing·ly, adverbnon·un·der·stand·ing, adjective, nounnon·un·der·stand·ing·ly, adverbself-un·der·stand·ing, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for self-understanding

Contemporary Examples of self-understanding

  • All of them involve how we see ourselves as a people and how our religious/spiritual views shape that self-understanding.

    The Daily Beast logo
    The Faith-Based Big Tent

    Gene Robinson

    March 9, 2014

Historical Examples of self-understanding

British Dictionary definitions for self-understanding



the ability to understand one's own actions



the ability to learn, judge, make decisions, etc; intelligence or sense
personal opinion or interpretation of a subjectmy understanding of your predicament
a mutual agreement or compact, esp an informal or private one
mainly British an unofficial engagement to be married
philosophy archaic the mind, esp the faculty of reason
on the understanding that with the condition that; providing


sympathetic, tolerant, or wise towards people
possessing judgment and intelligence
Derived Formsunderstandingly, adverb
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 self-understanding



Old English understandincge "comprehension," from understand (q.v.). Meaning "mutual agreement" is attested from 1803.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper