1 knowledge of a subject, of how sth works, etc.
complete, comprehensive, full

He showed a full understanding of the sequence of events.

accurate, clear, deep, detailed, fundamental, in-depth, intimate, keen, profound, proper, real, solid, sophisticated, thorough, true

You need to read more widely to gain a proper understanding of the issue.

adequate, basic, broad, general, sufficient
limited, rudimentary, superficial

She has only a limited understanding of what the job involves.

incomplete, poor

He had a poor understanding of international law.

better, deeper, greater, improved, increased, richer

an improved understanding of the mechanisms involved

conceptual, critical, rational, theoretical
historical, musical, scientific, etc.
contemporary, modern
conventional, traditional
instinctive, intuitive
collective, common

Some religions have a common understanding of the nature of a divine being.

popular, public

with a view to increasing public understanding of the functions and institutions of government

degree, level

It allowed him to deepen his degree of understanding even further.

The students seem to have a reasonable level of understanding of how genes work.

have, possess
demonstrate, show

This change of policy reflects a growing understanding of the extent of the problem.

achieve, acquire, arrive at, gain, obtain
create, provide

This creates a better understanding of organic farming.

give sb
inform, shape

All of this research informs our understanding of how disease processes work.

alter, change
advance, broaden, deepen, develop, enhance, enrich, expand, extend, further, improve, increase, refine

a book that will deepen your understanding of global warming


Scientists are seeking a better understanding of the process.

understanding about
understanding of

The book aims to give children a balanced understanding of food and the environment.

a lack of understanding
2 intelligence

a level of cruelty that passes human understanding

beyond (your) understanding

How children change so quickly is beyond my understanding.

Such attitudes are beyond understanding.

3 ability to feel sympathy and trust
deeper, great
common, mutual, shared

She gave me a look filled with sympathetic understanding.

cross-cultural (esp. AmE), cultural

He didn't show much understanding towards/toward her when she lost her job.

bring, bring about (esp. BrE), develop, lead to

Greater contact between the two groups should lead to a better mutual understanding.

gain, grow in

After spending a month living together, they have gained a better understanding of each other.


Our goal was to build shared understanding between the two communities.

foster, promote
understanding among

a force for understanding among the races

understanding between

The association fosters a deeper understanding between prisons and the public.

understanding for

She suddenly had a new understanding for her mother.

4 informal agreement
implicit, tacit, unspoken

There is an unspoken understanding that Hugh will be in charge while Jane is away.

come to, reach

They came to an understanding on when final payment was to be made.

understanding between

an understanding between the companies to fight against the proposed tax reform

understanding on

a tacit understanding on the need for a pay rise

understanding with

I have a clear understanding with any lawyer I hire.

on the understanding

I thought you gave me the book on the understanding that I could keep it.

Collocations dictionary. 2013.

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Understanding — Un der*stand ing, n. 1. The act of one who understands a thing, in any sense of the verb; knowledge; discernment; comprehension; interpretation; explanation. [1913 Webster] 2. An agreement of opinion or feeling; adjustment of differences;… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • understanding — I (agreement) noun accord, accordance, alliance, arrangement, common view, compact, compliance, concord, concordance, congruence, consentaneity, contract, cooperation, covenant, harmony, like mindedness, meeting of minds, mutual pledge, pact,… …   Law dictionary

  • understanding — [adj] accepting, tolerant compassionate, considerate, discerning, empathetic, forbearing, forgiving, generous, kind, kindly, patient, perceptive, responsive, sensitive, sympathetic; concepts 401,542 Ant. intolerant, unaccepting understanding [n1] …   New thesaurus

  • Understanding — Un der*stand ing ([u^]n d[ e]r*st[a^]nd [i^]ng), a. Knowing; intelligent; skillful; as, he is an understanding man. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • understanding — UK US /ˌʌndəˈstændɪŋ/ noun [C] ► an informal agreement: »Taiwan and Hong Kong reached an understanding for a five year commercial air agreement. → See Note AGREEMENT(Cf. ↑agreement) …   Financial and business terms

  • understanding — [un΄dərstan′diŋ] n. 1. the mental quality, act, or state of a person who understands; comprehension, knowledge, discernment, sympathetic awareness, etc. 2. the power or ability to think, learn, judge, etc.; intelligence; sense 3. a specific… …   English World dictionary

  • understanding — (n.) O.E. understandincge comprehension, from UNDERSTAND (Cf. understand) (q.v.). Meaning mutual agreement is attested from 1803 …   Etymology dictionary

  • understanding — 1 *reason, intuition Analogous words: comprehension, apprehension (see under APPREHEND): *discernment, discrimination, insight, penetration 2 *agreement, accord …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • understanding — ► NOUN 1) the ability to understand something. 2) the power of abstract thought; intellect. 3) an individual s perception or judgement of a situation. 4) sympathetic awareness or tolerance. 5) an informal or unspoken agreement or arrangement. ►… …   English terms dictionary

  • understanding — I adj. understanding about, of II n. agreement 1) to arrive at, come to, reach an understanding 2) a clear; secret; tacit; verbal; written understanding 3) an understanding about; with (we reached a tacit understanding with them about the matter) …   Combinatory dictionary

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