Understanding vs. Knowing

By Jaxson

  • Understanding

    Understanding is a psychological process related to an abstract or physical object, such as a person, situation, or message whereby one is able to think about it and use concepts to deal adequately with that object.

    Understanding is a relation between the knower and an object of understanding. Understanding implies abilities and dispositions with respect to an object of knowledge that are sufficient to support intelligent behaviour.Understanding is often, though not always, related to learning concepts, and sometimes also the theory or theories associated with those concepts. However, a person may have a good ability to predict the behaviour of an object, animal or system—and therefore may, in some sense, understand it—without necessarily being familiar with the concepts or theories associated with that object, animal or system in their culture. They may have developed their own distinct concepts and theories, which may be equivalent, better or worse than the recognised standard concepts and theories of their culture. Thus, understanding is correlated with the ability to make inferences.

  • Understanding (noun)

    Mental, sometimes emotional process of comprehension, assimilation of knowledge, which is subjective by its nature.

  • Understanding (noun)

    Reason or intelligence, ability to grasp the full meaning of knowledge, ability to infer.

  • Understanding (noun)

    Opinion, judgement or outlook.

    “According to my understanding, the situation is quite perilous. I wonder if you see it this way, too.”

  • Understanding (noun)

    An informal contract; mutual agreement.

    “I thought we had an understanding – you do the dishes, and I throw the trash.”

  • Understanding (noun)

    A reconciliation of differences.

    “The parties of the negotiation have managed to come to an understanding.”

  • Understanding (noun)


    “He showed much understanding for my problems when he heard about my past.”

  • Understanding (adjective)

    Showing compassion.

  • Understanding (adjective)

    Knowing; skilful.

  • Understanding (verb)

    present participle of understand

  • Knowing (adjective)

    Possessing knowledge or understanding; intelligent.

  • Knowing (adjective)

    Shrewd or showing clever awareness.

    “a knowing rascal”

  • Knowing (adjective)

    Suggestive of private knowledge.

  • Knowing (adjective)


  • Knowing (noun)

    The act or condition of having knowledge.


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