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Webster 1913 Edition


Understanding

Unˊder-stand′ing

(ŭnˊdẽr-stănd′ĭng)
,
Adj.
Knowing; intelligent; skillful;
as, he is an
understanding
man
.

Unˊder-stand′ing

,
Noun.
1.
The act of one who understands a thing, in any sense of the verb; knowledge; discernment; comprehension; interpretation; explanation.
2.
An agreement of opinion or feeling; adjustment of differences; harmony; anything mutually understood or agreed upon;
as, to come to an
understanding
with another
.
He hoped the loyalty of his subjects would concur with him in the preserving of a good
understanding
between him and his people.
Clarendon.
3.
The power to understand; the intellectual faculty; the intelligence; the rational powers collectively conceived an designated; the higher capacities of the intellect; the power to distinguish truth from falsehood, and to adapt means to ends.
But there is a spirit in man; and the inspiration of the Almighty giveth them
understanding
.
Job xxxii. 8.
The power of perception is that which we call the
understanding
. Perception, which we make the act of the
understanding
, is of three sorts: 1. The perception of ideas in our mind; 2. The perception of the signification of signs; 3. The perception of the connection or repugnancy, agreement or disagreement, that there is between any of our ideas. All these are attributed to the
understanding
, or perceptive power, though it be the two latter only that use allows us to say we understand.
Locke.
In its wider acceptation,
understanding
is the entire power of perceiving an conceiving, exclusive of the sensibility: the power of dealing with the impressions of sense, and composing them into wholes, according to a law of unity; and in its most comprehensive meaning it includes even simple apprehension.
Coleridge.
4.
Specifically, the discursive faculty; the faculty of knowing by the medium or use of general conceptions or relations. In this sense it is contrasted with, and distinguished from, the reason.
I use the term
understanding
, not for the noetic faculty, intellect proper, or place of principles, but for the dianoetic or discursive faculty in its widest signification, for the faculty of relations or comparisons; and thus in the meaning in which “verstand” is now employed by the Germans.
Sir W. Hamilton.
Syn. – Sense; intelligence; perception. See
Sense
.

Webster 1828 Edition


Understanding

UNDERSTAND'ING

,
ppr.
1.
Comprehending; apprehending the ideas or sense of another, or of a writing; learning or being informed.
2.
a. Knowing; skillful. He is an understanding man.

UNDERSTAND'ING

, n.
1.
The faculty of the human mind by which it apprehends the real state of things presented to it, or by which it receives or comprehends the ideas which others express and intend to communicate. The understanding is called also the intellectual faculty. It is the faculty by means of which we obtain a great part of our knowledge. Luke 24. Eph. 1.
By understanding I mean that faculty whereby we are enabled to apprehend the objects of knowledge, generals or particulars, absent or present, and to judge of their truth or falsehood, good or evil.
There is a spirit in man, and the inspiration of the Almighty giveth him understanding. Job. 32.
2.
Knowledge; exact comprehension.
Right understanding consists in the perception of the visible or probably agreement or disagreement of ideas.
3.
Intelligence between two or more persons; agreement of minds; union of sentiments. There is a good understanding between the minister and his people.

Definition 2022


understanding

understanding

English

Noun

understanding (countable and uncountable, plural understandings) (with of, but with for in sense of "sympathy")

  1. (uncountable) Mental, sometimes emotional process of comprehension, assimilation of knowledge, which is subjective by its nature.
  2. (countable) Reason or intelligence, ability to grasp the full meaning of knowledge, ability to infer.
  3. (countable) Opinion, judgement or outlook.
    • 2013 August 3, The machine of a new soul”, in The Economist, volume 408, number 8847:
      The yawning gap in neuroscientists’ understanding of their topic is in the intermediate scale of the brain’s anatomy. Science has a passable knowledge of how individual nerve cells, known as neurons, work. It also knows which visible lobes and ganglia of the brain do what. But how the neurons are organised in these lobes and ganglia remains obscure.
    According to my understanding, the situation is quite perilous. I wonder if you see it this way, too.
  4. (countable) An informal contract, mutual agreement.
    I thought we had an understanding - you do the dishes, and I throw the trash.
  5. (countable) A reconciliation of differences.
    The parties of the negotiation have managed to come to an understanding.
  6. (uncountable) Sympathy.
    He showed much understanding for my problems when he heard about my past.
  7. All that people individually sense and feel of themselves.

Translations

See also

Adjective

understanding (comparative more understanding, superlative most understanding)

  1. Showing compassion.

Translations

Verb

understanding

  1. present participle of understand
    • 2013 June 7, David Simpson, Fantasy of navigation”, in The Guardian Weekly, volume 188, number 26, page 36:
      It is tempting to speculate about the incentives or compulsions that might explain why anyone would take to the skies in [the] basket [of a balloon]: [];  []; or perhaps to muse on the irrelevance of the borders that separate nation states and keep people from understanding their shared environment.