Definitions for: Understanding

[n] 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] the cognitive condition of someone who understands; "he has virtually no understanding of social cause and effect"
[n] 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"
[n] 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"
[adj] characterized by understanding based on comprehension and discernment and empathy; "an understanding friend"

Webster (1913) Definition: Un`der*stand"ing, a.
Knowing; intelligent; skillful; as, he is an 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.

2. 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. --Clarendon.

3. 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.

There is a spirit in man; and the inspiration of the
Almighty them understanding. --Job xxxii.

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. --Locke.

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. --Coleridge.

4. 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. --Sir
W. Hamilton.

Syn: Sense; intelligence; perception. See Sense.

Synonyms: agreement, apprehension, discernment, intellect, perceptive, reason, savvy, sympathy

See Also: appreciation, bargain, brainwave, comprehension, condition, confederacy, conspiracy, covenant, deal, disposition, entente, entente cordiale, faculty, gentlemen's agreement, grasp, grasping, hold, inclination, knowing, mental faculty, module, oral contract, realisation, realization, recognition, reservation, sale, sales agreement, self-knowledge, settlement, severance agreement, smattering, statement, submission, suicide pact, tendency, term, unilateral contract, working agreement, written agreement

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