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  • WordNet 3.6
    • adj understanding characterized by understanding based on comprehension and discernment and empathy "an understanding friend"
    • n understanding the capacity for rational thought or inference or discrimination "we are told that man is endowed with reason and capable of distinguishing good from evil"
    • n understanding the cognitive condition of someone who understands "he has virtually no understanding of social cause and effect"
    • n understanding an inclination to support or be loyal to or to agree with an opinion "his sympathies were always with the underdog","I knew I could count on his understanding"
    • n understanding the statement (oral or written) of an exchange of promises "they had an agreement that they would not interfere in each other's business","there was an understanding between management and the workers"
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: In 1972, a gorilla by the name of "Koko" was taught ASL (American Sign Language) for the deaf. By the year 2000, the gorilla could understand approximately 2,000 English words
    • Understanding An agreement of opinion or feeling; adjustment of differences; harmony; anything mutually understood or agreed upon; as, to come to an understanding with another. "He hoped the loyalty of his subjects would concur with him in the preserving of a good understanding between him and his people."
    • a Understanding ŭn`dẽr*stănd"ĭng Knowing; intelligent; skillful; as, he is an understanding man.
    • Understanding Specifically, the discursive faculty; the faculty of knowing by the medium or use of general conceptions or relations. In this sense it is contrasted with, and distinguished from, the reason. "I use the term understanding, not for the noetic faculty, intellect proper, or place of principles, but for the dianoetic or discursive faculty in its widest signification, for the faculty of relations or comparisons; and thus in the meaning in which “verstand” is now employed by the Germans."
    • Understanding The act of one who understands a thing, in any sense of the verb; knowledge; discernment; comprehension; interpretation; explanation.
    • Understanding The power to understand; the intellectual faculty; the intelligence; the rational powers collectively conceived an designated; the higher capacities of the intellect; the power to distinguish truth from falsehood, and to adapt means to ends. "But there is a spirit in man; and the inspiration of the Almighty giveth them understanding .""The power of perception is that which we call the understanding . Perception, which we make the act of the understanding, is of three sorts: 1. The perception of ideas in our mind; 2. The perception of the signification of signs; 3. The perception of the connection or repugnancy, agreement or disagreement, that there is between any of our ideas. All these are attributed to the understanding, or perceptive power, though it be the two latter only that use allows us to say we understand.""In its wider acceptation, understanding is the entire power of perceiving an conceiving, exclusive of the sensibility: the power of dealing with the impressions of sense, and composing them into wholes, according to a law of unity; and in its most comprehensive meaning it includes even simple apprehension."
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n understanding The act of one who understands or comprehends; comprehension; apprehension and appreciation; discernment.
    • n understanding The knowing power, in general; intelligence; wit. The old psychologists divided the faculties of the mind into understanding, or cognitive power, and will.
    • n understanding The representative faculty; the power of abstract thought; the logical power. Kantian writers restrict understanding to the operation of abstractive thought concerning objects of possible experience.
    • n understanding Intelligence between two or more persons; agreement of minds; harmony; union of sentiment; also, something mutually understood or agreed upon: as, there was an understanding between them.
    • understanding Knowing; skilful; intelligent; possessed of or exhibiting good sense.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Understanding the act of comprehending: the faculty or the act of the mind by which it understands or thinks: the power to understand: knowledge: exact comprehension: agreement of minds: harmony
    • ***


  • Bonewitz
    “Understanding brings control.”
  • Rene Coty
    Rene Coty
    “It has taken me all my life to understand it is not necessary to understand everything.”
  • Leonardo Da Vinci
    “The noblest pleasure is the joy of understanding.”
  • Princess of Wales Diana
    “I understand people's suffering, people's pain, more than you will every know yourself.”
  • Marie E. Eschenbach
    Marie E. Eschenbach
    “In youth we learn; in age we understand.”
  • Nikki Giovanni
    Nikki Giovanni
    “If you don't understand yourself you don't understand anybody else.”


Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
A.S. understandan, to stand under or in the midst of a thing.


In literature:

But you know him you understand.
"Our Friend the Charlatan" by George Gissing
She understands everything, doesn't she, Sir Seymour?
"December Love" by Robert Hichens
Cap'n Dott, I want you to understand that I ain't dependent on nobody for a job.
"Cap'n Dan's Daughter" by Joseph C. Lincoln
But Mary did not understand these laws.
"Mary Anerley" by R. D. Blackmore
It has to be in Latin, my dear Master Olof, or we can't understand what you say.
"Master Olof" by August Strindberg
I thought it would be so easy a matter for my love to awaken yours; but I cannot make you understand me.
"Three Comedies" by Björnstjerne M. Björnson
You understand nothing yourself that a man ought to understand.
"The Eustace Diamonds" by Anthony Trollope
Anybody who is not above paying attention must understand me.
"Springhaven" by R. D. Blackmore
Nothing of this could her husband understand had she words to convey it.
"The Fighting Chance" by Robert W. Chambers
You understand, of course, my position.
"First Plays" by A. A. Milne
Yes, I can understand that.
"Three Dramas" by Björnstjerne M. Björnson
The boatman was slow to understand that his leadership had gone from him.
"The Fallen Leaves" by Wilkie Collins
Children understand, they understand very well.
"Plays by Chekhov, Second Series On the High Road, The Proposal, The Wedding, The Bear, A Tragedian In Spite of Himself, The Anniversary, The Three Sisters, The Cherry Orchard" by Anton Chekhov
But yo won't understand nothin.
"The History of David Grieve" by Mrs. Humphry Ward
I understand, I understand, Varvara Petrovna.
"The Possessed" by Fyodor Dostoevsky
You do not understand my speech because you cannot hear and understand my word.
"The Harp of God" by J. F. Rutherford
I cannot understand a dumb faith.
"Practical Religion" by John Charles Ryle
I understand all this very well, but I do not know whether or not I shall be successful in making you understand it as well.
"A General Introduction to Psychoanalysis" by Sigmund Freud
He sought at times to understand it but its understanding eluded him.
"Gargoyles" by Ben Hecht
I understand now that in every man's pathway hiss and writhe the serpents of suspicion.
"The Works of Robert G. Ingersoll, Vol. 10 (of 12) Dresden Edition--Legal" by Robert G. Ingersoll

In poetry:

"And, best of all, to understand
That death, who makes this life to cease,
But takes that other by the hand,
And leads it into perfect peace:
"Grasmere" by Alexander Anderson
Only his rare, sweet, tender smile;
Only a lingering touch of his hand.
I think I was dreaming all the while,
The reason I did not understand.
"Only A Sad Mistake" by Ella Wheeler Wilcox
Gather wouldst thou the perfect grains,
And Jesus fully understand?
Thou must obey him with huge pains,
And to God's will be as Christ's hand.
"After Thomas Kempis" by George MacDonald
The end of all things was at hand,
When Peter preach'd, I understand:
If, in his time, 'twas so — 'tis clear,
That it must now be very near.
"Concerning The End Of The World" by Rees Prichard
And then dawn: the petals close
a little crumpled. Something soft
and secret is brooding in an urn,
some new happiness I can’t understand yet.
"Night-Blooming Jasmine" by Giovanni Pascoli
My father's care and my mother's prayer
Are now ended here on earth,
But as time rolls on, since they have gone,
I shall understand their worth.
"The Old Farm" by Jared Barhite

In news:

Biofuels Digest reports today that California-based BlueFire Renewables has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with China Huadian Engineering Co. To finance its integrated Power Plant and Biorefinery in Fulton, Miss.
We understand the frustration some people have about the caterer of the upcoming Wetzel County Chamber of Commerce dinner being from Marshall County.
His novels up until the new Sweet Tooth wrung tragedy from men's inability to understand females.
12 great quotes from a man at the nucleus of atomic understanding.
It was held, appropriately enough, at Gotham Hall in Midtown, and it was clear, once you stepped inside, that the publisher JASON BINN is indeed a man who understands glamour.
Boley usually doesnt get to score that much so it's understandable that he wouldn't have his TD celebration planned out.
Actress says she understands the need to "turn off" Hollywood persona.
The honor was dubious because with Burton's name incorporated into the title, the film was understandably perceived as Burton's alone.
What she had been through would take years to understand.
That is a primary fear among winemakers, who believe the public will be put off by ingredients they may not understand.
Go to or call 610-478-6150 to obtain copies of Berks County's "Friendly Understandable Financial Statement" for the year ended Dec 31, 2011.
Boose understands local frustration.
Chuck Moy and his son, Lance, are understandably proud of their work.
Man, you don't understand, these toreros love the animals.
"If bundled payments advance, family physicians need to have a very explicit and clear understanding of the amount of their piece of that bundled payment," he added.

In science:

With the addition of randomly generated graphics and references, the papers are practically indistinguishable from papers that humans have written until true understanding is attempted by someone who could reasonably expect to understand an equivalent but meaningful paper.
Algorithmic Detection of Computer Generated Text
However, understanding how the quark-gluon plasma is produced, i.e., understanding the detailed mechanisms by which partonic degrees of freedom get freed and subsequently interact to lead to a thermalized system, remains a challenging problem.
Heavy ion collisions: puzzles and hopes
Understanding the inherent limitations of HARDI measurements can be obtained directly from our discussion of simulated diffusions, thus increasing the understanding of parametric assumptions that are necessary to derive more complicated structures from the diffusion PDF.
Nonparametric tests of structure for high angular resolution diffusion imaging in Q-space
Understanding when the construction of a basis of C is sufficiently accurate relative to H will be essential to understanding when SOSC checks using the Cholesky and Diagonalization approaches are themselves numerically accurate.
Hessian-Free Methods for Checking the Second-Order Sufficient Conditions in Equality-Constrained Optimization and Equilibrium Problems
The physical understanding of these phenomena should also give us a deep understanding of the GW features from the SASI and convection.
Multiple physical elements to determine the gravitational-wave signatures of core-collapse supernovae
Understanding this logic, that is, the logic of the crowd rather than an individual, will be essential for understanding and engineering artificial intelligence in the decades to come.
A Wikipedia Literature Review
Many measurement efforts are progressing to better understand the nuclear physics involved and better understand these calculations.
Double Beta Decay
The goal here is rather ambitious, and includes understanding particle production in the collision, followed by the thermalization of the produced matter, along with the subsequent evolution of the resulting thermal medium: essentially one wants to understand the whole collision in a single unified framework.
AdS/CFT applications to relativistic heavy ion collisions: a brief review
Studying the UE is critical for understanding the evolution of QCD with collision energy, as well as understanding the systematic corrections on many studies such as mass measurements.
Minimum Bias and Underlying Event Measurements with ATLAS
Because (cid:2) ˜d(ξ ) − Ω(ξ) 2π (cid:3)dξ = dS (ξ ), and because we do not expect that Ω(ξ )/2π to correlate at a local scale with ˜d(ξ ), to understand the pair correlation statistics ˜d(ξ1 + t) ˜d(ξ2 + t) it is enough to understand those of dS (ξ1 + t)dS (ξ2 + t).
Macroscopic pair correlation of the Riemann zeroes for smooth test functions
Understanding how this “active component” of the star-forming ISM works is essential to even an empirical understanding of large-scale star formation, much less understanding its underlying physics.
Star Formation in the Milky Way and Nearby Galaxies
In addition, the theoretical understanding and measurements of the Casimir interactions have grown substantially in the last ten years, allowing physicists to have a more detailed understanding of fundamental physics, not only in nanophysics, but particle physics and cosmology as well.
Repulsive Casimir force between silicon dioxide and superconductor
Pauli’s statement is already surprisingly close to the modern understanding of the cosmological constant problem, considering the fact that now we understand fundamental physics much better than a century ago.
Dark Energy: a Brief Review
The most intuitive way to understand why neutrino mass is forbidden in the Standard Model, is to understand that the Standard Model predicts that neutrinos always have a “left-handed” spin - rather like rifle bullets which spin counter clockwise to the direction of travel.
Neutrino Mass and Mixing with Discrete Symmetry
QCD and Spin physics are playing important role in our understanding of hadron structure. I will give a short overview of origin of hadron structure in QCD and highlight modern understanding of the sub ject.
SPIN Effects, QCD, and Jefferson Laboratory with 12 GeV electrons