Etymology
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understanding (n.)

Old English understanding "comprehension," verbal noun from understand (v.). Meaning "mutual agreement" is attested from 1803.

updated on February 26, 2014

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Definitions of understanding from WordNet
1
understanding (n.)
the cognitive condition of someone who understands;
he has virtually no understanding of social cause and effect
understanding (n.)
the statement (oral or written) of an exchange of promises;
there was an understanding between management and the workers
Synonyms: agreement
understanding (n.)
an inclination to support or be loyal to or to agree with an opinion;
I knew I could count on his understanding
Synonyms: sympathy
understanding (n.)
the capacity for rational thought or inference or discrimination;
Synonyms: reason / intellect
2
understanding (adj.)
characterized by understanding based on comprehension and discernment and empathy;
an understanding friend
Etymologies are not definitions. From wordnet.princeton.edu, not affiliated with etymonline.