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Meaning of understand

un•der•stand

Pronunciation: (un"dur-stand'), [key]
— v., -stood, -stand•ing.
—v.t.
  1. to perceive the meaning of; grasp the idea of; comprehend: to understand Spanish; I didn't understand your question.
  2. to be thoroughly familiar with; apprehend clearly the character, nature, or subtleties of: to understand a trade.
  3. to assign a meaning to; interpret: He understood her suggestion as a complaint.
  4. to grasp the significance, implications, or importance of: He does not understand responsibility.
  5. to regard as firmly communicated; take as agreed or settled: I understand that you will repay this loan in 30 days.
  6. to learn or hear: I understand that you are going out of town.
  7. to accept as true; believe: I understand that you are trying to be truthful, but you are wrong.
  8. to construe in a particular way: You are to understand the phrase literally.
  9. to supply mentally (something that is not expressed).
—v.i.
  1. to perceive what is meant; grasp the information conveyed: She told them about it in simple words, hoping they would understand.
  2. to accept tolerantly or sympathetically: If you can't do it, I'll understand.
  3. to have knowledge or background, as on a particular subject: He understands about boats.
  4. to have a systematic interpretation or rationale, as in a field or area of knowledge: He can repeat every rule in the book, but he just doesn't understand.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.
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