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  1. un·der·stand
    IPA[ˌəndərˈstand]
  2. verb

    • 1. perceive the intended meaning of (words, a language, or a speaker):

      he didn't understand a word I said he could usually make himself understood she understood what he was saying
    • 2. perceive the significance, explanation, or cause of (something):

      she didn't really understand the situation he couldn't understand why we burst out laughing you don't understand—she has left me
      Synonym : comprehend, apprehend, grasp, see, take in, perceive, discern, make out, puzzle out, recognize, keep up with, master, get to know, follow, fathom, get to the bottom of, penetrate, divine, interpret, unravel, decipher, see the light about, envisage, get the hang of, get the drift of, catch onto, latch onto, tumble to, crack, make head or tail of, figure out, dig, get, get one's head around, wrap one's mind around, see daylight, get the picture, get the message, twig, suss out, suss, savvy, cognize
    • 3. interpret or view (something) in a particular way:

      as the term is usually understood, legislation refers to regulations and directives
    • 4. infer something from information received (often used as a polite formula in conversation):

      I understand you're at art school as I understood it, she was flying back to New Zealand tomorrow
    • 5. regard (a missing word, phrase, or idea) as present; supply mentally:

      “present company excepted” is always understood when sweeping generalizations are being made
    • 6. assume to be the case; take for granted:

      he liked to play the field—that was understood
      Synonym : believe, be led to believe, be given to understand, think, conclude, come to the conclusion, deduce, infer, draw the inference, assume, surmise, fancy, gather, take it, hear, hear tell, be informed, notice, see, learn, discover
    • 7. be sympathetically or knowledgeably aware of the character or nature of:

      Picasso understood color I understand how you feel
      Synonym : appreciate, recognize, realize, acknowledge, know, be aware of, be conscious of, be cognizant of, accept, commiserate with, feel compassionate toward, sympathize with, empathize with, take on board, be wise to
  3. Variation

    • v.: verb: understand, 3rd person present: understands, gerund or present participle: understanding, past tense: understood, past participle: understood

    • verb

      perceive the intended meaning of (words, a language, or a speaker):

      perceive the significance, explanation, or cause of:

    • past and past participle of understand
    • past and past participle of understand
    • communicate information to someone in an indirect way
    • communicate information to someone in an indirect way
    • inform someone in a formal and rather indirect way
    • inform someone in a rather indirect way
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