Definition of misunderstand in US English:

misunderstand

verb

[with object]
  • 1Fail to interpret or understand (something) correctly.

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

Pronunciation

misunderstand

/ˌmisˌəndərˈstand//ˌmɪsˌəndərˈstænd/