- the power of abstract thought; logical power.
- Kantianism.the mental faculty resolving the sensory manifold into the transcendental unity of apperception.
Origin of understanding
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 understanding
Nothing made Groucho funnier than having this Margaret Dumont around not understanding the jokes.Patton Oswalt on Fighting Conservatives With Satire|William O’Connor|January 6, 2015|DAILY BEAST
Understanding my own dreams had a lot to do with getting me off the juice.The Story Behind Lee Marvin’s Liberty Valance Smile|Robert Ward|January 3, 2015|DAILY BEAST
As she discussed her understanding of the voting rights campaign and how she planned to recreate it, I grew more relieved.Dr. King Goes to Hollywood: The Flawed History of ‘Selma’|Gary May|January 2, 2015|DAILY BEAST
Now half-awake, we need all the help we can get in understanding our situation.
I ask you now for your understanding and compassion: My father needs me at this most difficult time.An American Marine in Iran’s Prisons Goes on Hunger Strike|IranWire|December 18, 2014|DAILY BEAST
Not to trust to his own understanding, lest God blind his understanding.A Vindication of the Presbyteriall-Government and Ministry|Ministers and Elders of the London Provinciall Assembly
A genuine liking for Prometheus Unbound may be reckoned the touch-stone of a mans capacity for understanding lyric poetry.Shelley|John Addington Symonds
A mule can beat you at that: 'Be ye not as the mule, which have no understanding.'Expositions of Holy Scripture|Alexander Maclaren
Upon these points there is said to be little doubt that the two nations will come to an understanding.
To neither of these was an understanding of Puritanism at all possible.The World's Greatest Books, Vol IX.|Edited by Arthur Mee and J.A. Hammerton
verb -stands, -standing or -stood
Word Origin for understand
Old English understandincge "comprehension," from understand (q.v.). Meaning "mutual agreement" is attested from 1803.
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.
see give to understand.