Definition of misunderstanding in English:



  • 1A failure to understand something correctly.

    ‘a misunderstanding of the government's plans’
    mass noun ‘there must have been some kind of misunderstanding’
    • ‘This has resonated with audiences who find it cathartic - British sitcoms traditionally deal in failure, disappointment and misunderstanding.’
    • ‘Later he simply couldn't be bothered to correct the misunderstanding.’
    • ‘Summarise information to show patients they have been heard, and give them an opportunity to correct any misunderstandings.’
    • ‘In part this was due to misunderstandings and to failures of communication.’
    • ‘Were I to learn faster, I would now know better than to correct people's grammatical misunderstandings.’
    • ‘It is even difficult to tell whether these exchanges are promoting mutual understanding or increasing the misunderstandings.’
    • ‘I couldn't even begin to understand what his misunderstanding was.’
    • ‘They are open to misunderstandings, misinterpretations, misgivings and mistakes.’
    • ‘They do not know what went wrong, how to correct misunderstandings or what steps need to be taken to make things right again.’
    • ‘She said the lack of understanding or the misunderstanding of reporting procedures has, in some cases, led to unnecessarily prolonged investigations.’
    • ‘I want to correct a misunderstanding or mistake that may have been made in answer to question No.1.’
    • ‘It is only right that a few myths and misunderstandings are corrected.’
    • ‘This is best done in a tentative fashion, allowing the person to correct any misunderstandings.’
    • ‘To correct his misunderstanding and misperceptions I have addressed the following open letter to him which touches upon some key concepts and basic points.’
    • ‘But I can understand how this misunderstanding happened’
    • ‘The idea that mutual assured destruction is a policy choice shows a complete misunderstanding of the basic facts of existence.’
    • ‘The premier himself and the interpreter soon realized the misunderstanding and corrected the translation, to the amusement of everyone involved.’
    • ‘His accomplished studies of human failure and misunderstanding are more than mere reels of celluloid.’
    • ‘‘We understand that the misunderstanding arose from the use of different types of terminology, and apologise for any confusion caused,’ she said.’
    • ‘This allows me to meet each student outside of lecture, correct misunderstandings, and catch errors in the forms.’
    misinterpretation, misconstruction, misreading, misapprehension, misconception
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    1. 1.1 A disagreement or quarrel.
      ‘he left the army after a slight misunderstanding with his commanding officer’
      • ‘Firman said the dispute was triggered by a minor misunderstanding between a member of the police's Mobile Brigade and a group of marines.’
      • ‘There was a slight misunderstanding over his bags, but finally, by allowing him to take some of my weight allowance, we finally agree we'd be okay.’
      • ‘All the misunderstandings and quarrels of the past had been sorted out.’
      • ‘And then they wonder why there are so many personal and world-wide misunderstandings, war, misery, pain.’
      • ‘I can't believe that we're finally together, after all the arguments and misunderstandings.’
      • ‘The slightest misunderstanding could result in big trouble for the locals, including being beaten and kicked.’
      • ‘It is easier to talk through misunderstandings and solve differences when we are calm.’
      • ‘Such a combination suggested that misunderstandings and conflicts with the magistrates would be a thing of the past.’
      • ‘When you start realising how finite everything is, then all your differences and misunderstandings and pain should fall away.’
      • ‘It is becoming fashionable now that any slight incident of misunderstanding should discharge wanton destruction and lawlessness.’
      • ‘Now, while disagreement and misunderstanding are certainly common, they are not so common as to prevent all effective communication.’
      • ‘Surely the potential for tension, misunderstandings and culture clash is vast?’
      • ‘There is bound to be confrontation, conflict, misunderstandings, arguments and disagreements.’
      • ‘Cultural differences are a source of misunderstandings and conflicts in global R&D collaborations.’
      • ‘In a way this suggested that there was nothing more substantial to the conflict than a misunderstanding and old-fashioned prejudice: a falling out between neighbours.’
      • ‘This is the reason for a majority of our disagreements or misunderstandings.’
      • ‘Mistakes on both sides may lead to misunderstandings, arguments and further delays in the processing of claims.’
      • ‘This can be appreciated by balancing the forces as an excess of one can lead to misunderstandings, conflicts and suffering.’
      • ‘The Franco-German axis has taken the weight of many disputes, misunderstandings, betrayals and jolting halts.’
      • ‘Both of them have a history of misunderstandings and conflicts with the leadership.’
      disagreement, difference, difference of opinion, variance, clash of views, dispute, disputation, falling-out, quarrel, argument, altercation, squabble, wrangle, row, clash, conflict
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