understanding

To be understanding is to be sympathetic to someone’s woes. Understanding a concept means you get it. Your understanding might be that your mother will always drive you to school if you miss the bus.

The sum of your knowledge of a certain topic, is your understanding of it. This can change, or deepen as you learn more. But being an understanding person doesn't take a lot of studying — it takes opening your heart to appreciate what someone else feels or experiences. If someone says to you, "I thought we had an understanding," you must have done something unexpected. Here, understanding means "an agreement."

Definitions of understanding
  1. noun
    the cognitive condition of someone who understands
    “he has virtually no understanding of social cause and effect”
    synonyms: apprehension, discernment, savvy
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    types:
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    comprehension
    an ability to understand the meaning or importance of something (or the knowledge acquired as a result)
    self-knowledge
    an understanding of yourself and your goals and abilities
    smattering
    a slight or superficial understanding of a subject
    appreciation, grasp, hold
    understanding of the nature or meaning or quality or magnitude of something
    grasping
    understanding with difficulty
    hindsight
    understanding the nature of an event after it has happened
    brainstorm, brainwave, insight
    the clear (and often sudden) understanding of a complex situation
    realisation, realization, recognition
    coming to understand something clearly and distinctly
    sense
    a natural appreciation or ability
    light
    mental understanding as an enlightening experience
    revelation
    an enlightening or astonishing disclosure
    breakthrough, discovery, find
    a productive insight
    flash
    a sudden brilliant understanding
    type of:
    knowing
    a clear and certain mental apprehension
  2. noun
    the capacity for rational thought or inference or discrimination
    synonyms: intellect, reason
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    type of:
    faculty, mental faculty, module
    one of the inherent cognitive or perceptual powers of the mind
  3. noun
    an inclination to support or be loyal to or to agree with an opinion
    “I knew I could count on his understanding
    synonyms: sympathy
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    type of:
    disposition, inclination, tendency
    an attitude of mind especially one that favors one alternative over others
  4. noun
    the statement (oral or written) of an exchange of promises
    “there was an understanding between management and the workers”
    synonyms: agreement
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    examples:
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    Articles of Confederation
    a written agreement ratified in 1781 by the thirteen original states; it provided a legal symbol of their union by giving the central government no coercive power over the states or their citizens
    Peace of Westphalia
    the peace treaty that ended the Thirty Years' War in 1648
    Chemical Weapons Convention
    a global treaty banning the production or acquisition or stockpiling or transfer or use of chemical weapons
    Geneva Convention
    an agreement first drawn up in Geneva in 1864 and later revised concerning the treatment of captured and wounded military personnel and civilians in wartime
    Lateran Treaty
    the agreement signed in the Lateran Palace in 1929 by Italy and the Holy See which recognized the Vatican City as a sovereign and independent papal state
    North Atlantic Treaty
    the treaty signed in 1949 by 12 countries that established NATO
    SALT I
    the first treaty between the United States and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics resulting from the Strategic Arms Limitation Talks
    SALT II
    the second treaty between the United States and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics resulting from the Strategic Arms Limitation Talks
    Treaty of Versailles
    the treaty imposed on Germany by the Allied powers in 1920 after the end of World War I which demanded exorbitant reparations from the Germans
    Missouri Compromise
    an agreement in 1820 between pro-slavery and anti-slavery factions in the United States concerning the extension of slavery into new territories
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    confederacy, conspiracy
    a secret agreement between two or more people to perform an unlawful act
    fair-trade agreement
    an agreement (illegal in the United States) between the manufacturer of a trademarked item of merchandise and its retail distributors to sell the item at a price at or above the price set by the manufacturer
    covenant
    (Bible) an agreement between God and his people in which God makes certain promises and requires certain behavior from them in return
    unilateral contract
    a one-sided agreement whereby you promise to do (or refrain from doing) something in return for a performance (not a promise)
    sale, sales agreement
    an agreement (or contract) in which property is transferred from the seller (vendor) to the buyer (vendee) for a fixed price in money (paid or agreed to be paid by the buyer)
    bargain, deal
    an agreement between parties (usually arrived at after discussion) fixing obligations of each
    working agreement
    an informal agreement to work together
    gentlemen's agreement
    a personal agreement based on honor and not legally binding
    written agreement
    a legal document summarizing the agreement between parties
    submission
    an agreement between parties in a dispute to abide by the decision of an arbiter
    entente, entente cordiale
    a friendly understanding between political powers
    oral contract
    an agreement that is not in writing and is not signed by the parties but is a real existing contract that lacks only the formal requirement of a memorandum to render it enforceable in litigation
    reservation
    the written record or promise of an arrangement by which accommodations are secured in advance
    settlement
    a conclusive resolution of a matter and disposition of it
    severance agreement
    an agreement on the terms on which an employee will leave
    suicide pact
    an agreement by two or more people to commit suicide together at a given place and time
    contract
    a binding agreement between two or more persons that is enforceable by law
    conspiracy of silence
    a conspiracy not to talk about some situation or event
    conditional sale
    a sale in which the buyer receives title to the property only upon the performance of some condition (usually the full payment of the purchase price)
    execution sale, forced sale, judicial sale, sheriff's sale
    a sale of property by the sheriff under authority of a court's writ of execution in order satisfy an unpaid obligation
    submission
    a legal document summarizing an agreement between parties in a dispute to abide by the decision of an arbiter
    compact, concordat, covenant
    a signed written agreement between two or more parties (nations) to perform some action
    indenture
    formal agreement between the issuer of bonds and the bondholders as to terms of the debt
    obligation
    a legal agreement specifying a payment or action and the penalty for failure to comply
    accord, pact, treaty
    a written agreement between two states or sovereigns
    accommodation
    a settlement of differences
    conclusion
    a final settlement
    out-of-court settlement
    resolution of a dispute prior to the rendering of a final decision by the trial court
    property settlement
    (matrimonial law) the division of property owned or acquired by marriage partners during their marriage
    accord and satisfaction
    the settlement of a debt by paying less than the amount demanded in exchange for extinguishing the debt
    golden handshake
    a lucrative severance agreement offered to an employee (usually as an incentive to retire)
    escrow
    a written agreement (or property or money) delivered to a third party or put in trust by one party to a contract to be returned after fulfillment of some condition
    type of:
    statement
    a message that is stated or declared; a communication (oral or written) setting forth particulars or facts etc
  5. adjective
    characterized by understanding based on comprehension and discernment and empathy
    “an understanding friend”
    Synonyms:
    perceptive
    having the ability to perceive or understand; keen in discernment
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