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
Synonyms for understand
Related Words for understoodpat, inferred, implied, known, accepted, unsaid, appreciated, presumed, axiomatic, inferential, tacit, unexpressed, unspoken, roger, undeclared, unstated, wordless
Examples from the Web for understood
Contemporary Examples of understood
What it endangers is a narrow conception of Russian power, understood through the eyes of its dictatorial leader.Oliver Stone’s Latest Dictator Suckup
January 5, 2015
Most people, however, understood the significance of the photo immediately-- especially those who share my skin.What Would Happen if I Got in White Cop’s Face?
December 30, 2014
Earlier in the segment, host Chuck Todd had asked him if he understood and acknowledged that black people have a fear of police.Memo to Cops: Criticisms Aren’t Attacks
December 28, 2014
“He could build studios and he understood technology,” Jackson told The Daily Beast.Alleged Cop Killer’s Blood-Soaked Screenplay
December 24, 2014
One understood why Joan Fontaine stayed with him no matter what.Alfred Hitchcock’s Fade to Black: The Great Director’s Final Days
December 13, 2014
Historical Examples of understood
Without knowing why, they understood perfectly now that neither had been ingenuous.The Spenders
Harry Leon Wilson
In most parts of Mesopotamia it was understood as readily as the native tongue.Ancient Man
Hendrik Willem van Loon
She was afraid that she now understood the meaning of the bill she had received.Grace Harlowe's Return to Overton Campus
Jessie Graham Flower
The word "ought" was not heeded at Constantinople, but the word "must" was understood fully there.The Grand Old Man
Richard B. Cook
And when he spoke she understood why he had been irresistible to Priscilla.Life and Death of Harriett Frean
verb -stands, -standing or -stood
Word Origin 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.
see give to understand.