Definition of misunderstand in English:

misunderstand

verb

[WITH OBJECT]
  • 1 Fail to interpret or understand (something) correctly:

    ‘he had misunderstood the police officer's hand signals’
    [no object] ‘I must have misunderstood—I thought you were anxious to leave’
    • ‘In both cases, they miss the point and misunderstand the man's track record.’
    • ‘If I am wrong, then I am either missing facts or misunderstanding the strategic game - or both.’
    • ‘These provisions are regularly misunderstood or deliberately misapplied by the police.’
    • ‘In our view this submission is entirely misconceived and misunderstands the effect of these cases.’
    • ‘I'm trying to show how maybe I tend to misunderstand things or misconstrue things or tend to foreground certain things.’
    • ‘I believe it is because we misunderstand the real nature of love, and so confuse ourselves about the place of love in both romance and married life.’
    • ‘I have apparently misunderstood some instructions from our wine club secretary and failed to pass a menu around.’
    • ‘In effect it is said that she misunderstood his evidence and hence failed to take into account a material consideration.’
    • ‘This is an instance of an audience member misunderstanding a panelist and being corrected.’
    • ‘His characters persistently misread and misunderstand the past.’
    • ‘So the libertarian fails because he fundamentally misunderstands the question.’
    • ‘What's new is that only in the most recent epoch has that process created minds that can understand the process, or misunderstand it.’
    • ‘That is what prompted my original question to you and I must have misunderstood your answer.’
    • ‘They do, of course: historians, like everyone else, can misread, misremember, misinterpret, or misunderstand things.’
    • ‘It seems it has now become fashionable in this country that in every misunderstanding the option to resolve the dispute must be violence.’
    • ‘To misunderstand it is to misread the bold signs of what will be the great historical markers our time.’
    • ‘We didn't lose sleep over whether we'd missed a fact or misunderstood a piece of the evidence.’
    • ‘How words are used can be crucial to understanding and misunderstanding the world around us.’
    • ‘I want this opportunity to explain my actions so that they are not misunderstood or misinterpreted.’
    • ‘The point is that in this case the Inspector misunderstood it and misapplied it considering its role in his decision letter.’
    misapprehend, misinterpret, put a wrong interpretation on, misconstrue, misconceive, mistake, misread, miss, confuse, confound, take amiss
    miscalculate, err, be mistaken, get the wrong idea, get it wrong, get someone wrong, take something the wrong way, receive a false impression, be under a delusion, get the wrong end of the stick, get hold of the wrong end of the stick, be at cross purposes
    be barking up the wrong tree
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Fail to interpret or understand the words or actions of (someone) correctly:
      ‘don't misunderstand me—I'm not implying she should be working’
      ‘he is one of football's most misunderstood men’
      • ‘Are you saying that you never said that, or that you did say it and you were misunderstood?’
      • ‘I mean, we're all good people, don't misunderstand me, but their - politics is competitive.’
      • ‘I said, distinctly separating every word, so that she couldn't misunderstand me.’
      • ‘He has certainly managed to get an awful lot of people to misunderstand him.’
      • ‘I absolutely hate it when someone misunderstands me and then refuses to let me explain.’
      • ‘It's your fault for misunderstanding him, and don't you dare question his patriotism!’
      • ‘Could you state your position on the referendum, and in what ways have you been misunderstood?’
      • ‘I don't even think the people that misunderstand me know why.’
      • ‘Tammy says she is made to feel useless by other people; she is misunderstood by other people.’
      • ‘I do not think I actually said that, but if you misunderstood me, I apologise.’
      • ‘And it's also possible that I may be misunderstanding him.’
      • ‘Although other people can sense that you have a powerful vision, you are often misunderstood.’
      • ‘He wasn't misunderstood, he didn't just make some indiscreet comment without thinking.’
      • ‘You need to be subtle and sensitive in family situations and personal relationships, as people tend to get hurt easily and misunderstand you.’
      • ‘Are you suggesting that I misunderstood you, misquoted you - or that you want to change what you wrote?’
      • ‘Lest we are misunderstood, we are not saying the gesture to shelter refugees is a bad one.’
      • ‘And I'm presumptuous enough to assume that people might actually take the time to misunderstand me.’
      • ‘Authorities despise him, people misunderstand him and villains continuously plot to get rid of him.’
      • ‘Don't misunderstand me - if people want to marry, all well and good, and I don't have a problem with that.’
      • ‘But I'm not saying a child should have a veto; people frequently misunderstand me.’

Pronunciation

misunderstand

/ˌmɪsʌndəˈstand/