Definition of misunderstanding in English:



  • 1A failure to understand something correctly.

    ‘a misunderstanding of the facts and the law’
    ‘there must have been some kind of misunderstanding’
    • ‘It is even difficult to tell whether these exchanges are promoting mutual understanding or increasing the 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 premier himself and the interpreter soon realized the misunderstanding and corrected the translation, to the amusement of everyone involved.’
    • ‘Were I to learn faster, I would now know better than to correct people's grammatical misunderstandings.’
    • ‘In part this was due to misunderstandings and to failures of communication.’
    • ‘‘We understand that the misunderstanding arose from the use of different types of terminology, and apologise for any confusion caused,’ she said.’
    • ‘I couldn't even begin to understand what his misunderstanding was.’
    • ‘It is only right that a few myths and misunderstandings are corrected.’
    • ‘Later he simply couldn't be bothered to correct the misunderstanding.’
    • ‘This has resonated with audiences who find it cathartic - British sitcoms traditionally deal in failure, disappointment and misunderstanding.’
    • ‘They are open to misunderstandings, misinterpretations, misgivings and mistakes.’
    • ‘I want to correct a misunderstanding or mistake that may have been made in answer to question No.1.’
    • ‘Summarise information to show patients they have been heard, and give them an opportunity to correct any misunderstandings.’
    • ‘They do not know what went wrong, how to correct misunderstandings or what steps need to be taken to make things right again.’
    • ‘This allows me to meet each student outside of lecture, correct misunderstandings, and catch errors in the forms.’
    • ‘She said the lack of understanding or the misunderstanding of reporting procedures has, in some cases, led to unnecessarily prolonged investigations.’
    • ‘His accomplished studies of human failure and misunderstanding are more than mere reels of celluloid.’
    • ‘This is best done in a tentative fashion, allowing the person to correct any misunderstandings.’
    • ‘The idea that mutual assured destruction is a policy choice shows a complete misunderstanding of the basic facts of existence.’
    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’
      • ‘Such a combination suggested that misunderstandings and conflicts with the magistrates would be a thing of the past.’
      • ‘Firman said the dispute was triggered by a minor misunderstanding between a member of the police's Mobile Brigade and a group of marines.’
      • ‘I can't believe that we're finally together, after all the arguments and misunderstandings.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Both of them have a history of misunderstandings and conflicts with the leadership.’
      • ‘There is bound to be confrontation, conflict, misunderstandings, arguments and disagreements.’
      • ‘All the misunderstandings and quarrels of the past had been sorted out.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Cultural differences are a source of misunderstandings and conflicts in global R&D collaborations.’
      • ‘This can be appreciated by balancing the forces as an excess of one can lead to misunderstandings, conflicts and suffering.’
      • ‘The slightest misunderstanding could result in big trouble for the locals, including being beaten and kicked.’
      • ‘And then they wonder why there are so many personal and world-wide misunderstandings, war, misery, pain.’
      • ‘The Franco-German axis has taken the weight of many disputes, misunderstandings, betrayals and jolting halts.’
      • ‘Surely the potential for tension, misunderstandings and culture clash is vast?’
      • ‘It is easier to talk through misunderstandings and solve differences when we are calm.’
      • ‘When you start realising how finite everything is, then all your differences and misunderstandings and pain should fall away.’
      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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