From Longman Dictionary of Contemporary Englishunderstandingun‧der‧stand‧ing1 /ˌʌndəˈstændɪŋ $ -ər-/ ●●○ W3 noun 1 [singular, uncountable]UNDERSTAND knowledge about something, based on learning or experienceunderstanding of How does this add to our understanding of the problem? If you know the neighbourhood, you have an understanding of what the children are like. Linguists currently have little understanding of the exact cause of language change. How can we gain an understanding of other cultures? Over time, you will get a far better understanding of the job. Success depends on a clear understanding of the problem. a basic understanding of AIDS prevention2 [countable usually singular]AGREE an unofficial or informal agreementcome to/reach an understanding (=stop arguing and agree) My father was furious at first, but eventually we came to an understanding. We had an understanding that Jean-Claude should never be mentioned.3 [singular, uncountable]UNDERSTANDSYMPATHIZE the ability to understand people’s behaviour and to forgive them when they do something wrong The principal listened to the boy’s story with sympathy and understanding.4 → somebody’s understanding (of something)5 → on the understanding thatCOLLOCATIONSverbshave an understandingThe authorities don’t seem to have a clear understanding of the problem.gain/get/develop an understandingScientists continued to gain a greater understanding of the effects of radiation.deepen/broaden an understanding It is hoped that the research will broaden our understanding of the disease.increase/improve/enhance somebody’s understandingThe classes really helped to increase our understanding of the subject.adjectivesa better/greater/deeper understandingAll of this will lead to a better understanding of the overseas market.a clear understandingBefore you begin, it is vital that you have a clear understanding of what you want to achieve.a complete/thorough/full understandingThe degree gives students a thorough understanding of issues relating to housing.a proper/real understandingThey lacked any real understanding of the subject.a good understandingThe sales force has a good understanding of the market.a basic understandingThe aim of the examination is to test basic understanding of the written language.a limited understandingWe have only a limited understanding of how the brain processes this information.
Examples from the Corpusunderstanding• Adams and the police have an understanding -- he gives them information and they don't ask any questions about his activities.• The book gave me an understanding of what it must be like to be addicted to drugs.• We came to an understanding that I would find a job and my husband would stay home with the baby.• Demonstrate your empathy and understanding of your children's problems.• We didn't have any understanding of the business colleges.• The research may lead to a better understanding of how the disease develops.• The training had been successful, he said, in bringing about alignment of different skills and improving business understanding.• Creating a greater understanding of what the school is about?• He seems to have very little understanding of economics.• Mutual understanding is important in all relationships.• That was not my understanding of the regulations, and I resent your accusation that I failed to follow them correctly.• There seems to be a lack of understanding on the part of managers when it comes to employees' personal problems.• A much greater level of understanding is required to carry out more complex experiments.• This is the only way in which indoctrination can be avoided and any real understanding of religion conveyed.• Too often all that is at fault is the observer's understanding of what other people's statements and actions mean.• Marryat's readers would bring at least some associations and some understanding to this piece of special pleading.• At field level, this implies a sufficient understanding of the contribution which different parties can make.• It was an unspoken understanding between Stu and me that I was going to be a lawyer and he was going to be an engineer.have an understanding of• If you can understand characteristic curves and have an understanding of what's happening mathematically or chemically it will help.• How, for example, is one to know that the students have an understanding of therapeutic diets?• Many people seem to have an understanding of faith which borders on superstition.• Just think what that means to people who have an understanding of what is really their present position.• Firstly, he or she will have an understanding of primary care, especially clinical presentations in general practice.come to/reach an understanding• But perhaps we can waive our definitions and come to an understanding on the basis of an adjustment in the rent.• He was glad he and Betty had come to an understanding.• This present body of work is the closest that he has come to understanding what it is that attracts him to travel.• It would be very convenient if we succeeded in coming to an understanding as to how the matter stands.• Based on this experience they came to an understanding of a fundamental problem of flight: control.understandingunderstanding2 adjective UNDERSTANDSYMPATHIZEsympathetic and kind about other people’s problems Luckily, I have a very understanding boss.► see thesaurus at sympathetic
Examples from the Corpusunderstanding• I'm sorry I've been so bad-tempered lately. Anyway, thank you for being so understanding.• He's funny, energetic, understanding, and a great teacher.• They rate themselves as very understanding and believe that women also value shyness.• The bank was usually very understanding, and generally gave us some leeway until we were able to sell something.• He would have been very understanding and would have helped us to find the right specialist.• In the first place, the rhetorical perspective advocates understanding attitudes in terms of the wider social context.• Irene often has to take time off work. Fortunately she has a very understanding boss.• Your local drug project may be able to put you in touch with an understanding dentist or specialist dental clinic.• Now I don't call that being very understanding, do you?• Matt is a very understanding guy.• My parents were wonderfully understanding throughout my divorce.• What it is to have an understanding wife!