verb (used with object), un·der·stood, un·der·stand·ing.
verb (used without object), un·der·stood, un·der·stand·ing.
Origin of understand
Examples from the Web for understand
He appeared to understand however belatedly that he was in the presence of another kind of greatness.
I understand that this is human trafficking, but I know that my people have no other option.
Is that a utilitarian approach—that you need to understand how institutions have changed to understand the way they are?
I think you need to understand the history to understand where you are at a given moment.
You know, Ward, I think I understand my father more every day.The Story Behind Lee Marvin’s Liberty Valance Smile|Robert Ward|January 3, 2015|DAILY BEAST
As a military man he is said to be well informed, and to understand well the principles of his profession.The Life of Isaac Ingalls Stevens, Volume I (of 2)|Hazard Stevens
The Bishop did not understand Latin so offered up a prayer for he and she mules.The Rise of the Mediaeval Church|Alexander Clarence Flick
As usual she seemed to read my thoughts and understand them.Kent Knowles: Quahaug|Joseph C. Lincoln
That is the reason why the artist cannot teach it, why the pupil cannot learn it, and why the æsthetic critic can understand it.Intentions|Oscar Wilde
Had a war over here not long ago, I understand—somethin' like ten or fifteen years ago.Graustark|George Barr McCutcheon
British Dictionary definitions for understand
verb -stands, -standing or -stood
Word Origin for understand
Word Origin and History for understand
Old English understandan "comprehend, grasp the idea of," probably literally "stand in the midst of," from under + standan "to stand" (see stand). If this is the meaning, the under is not the usual word meaning "beneath," but from Old English under, from PIE *nter- "between, among" (cf. Sanskrit antar "among, between," Latin inter "between, among," Greek entera "intestines;" see inter-).
That is the suggestion in Barnhart, but other sources regard the "among, between, before, in the presence of" sense of Old English prefix and preposition under as other meanings of the same word. "Among" seems to be the sense in many Old English compounds that resemble understand, e.g. underniman "to receive," undersecan "to investigate," underginnan "to begin." It also seems to be the sense still in expressions such as under such circumstances.
Perhaps the ultimate sense is "be close to," cf. Greek epistamai "I know how, I know," literally "I stand upon." Similar formations are found in Old Frisian (understonda), Middle Danish (understande), while other Germanic languages use compounds meaning "stand before" (cf. German verstehen, represented in Old English by forstanden). For this concept, most Indo-European languages use figurative extensions of compounds that literally mean "put together," or "separate," or "take, grasp" (see comprehend). Old English oferstandan, Middle English overstonden, literally "over-stand" seem to have been used only in literal senses.
Idioms and Phrases with understand
see give to understand.