incomprehension

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English[edit]

Noun[edit]

incomprehension (uncountable)

  1. Want or lack of comprehension or understanding; inability to understand.
    • 1873: Thomas Hardy, A Pair of Blue Eyes
      Stephen blushed; and his father looked from one to the other in a state of utter incomprehension.
    • 1901: M. P. Shiel, The Lord of the Sea
      (...) and the wearied worker, borne at evening through crowded undergrounds, might read his name with a listless incomprehension.
    • 1954: William Golding, Lord of the Flies
      Simon broke off and turned to Piggy who was looking at him with an expression of derisive incomprehension.
    • 1974: Ursula Leguin, The Dispossessed
      The aide gave the old men in Ward Two their medicine, and they joked with her. Shevek watched with dull incomprehension.
    • 1995: Gary Wolf, "The Curse of Xanadu", Wired Magazine
      As a guest lecturer in Nelson's class, Miller ran through his ideas for a Xanadu-like software system. Afterward, he was approached by one of the students, Stuart Greene. Miller asked Greene what the reaction to his ideas had been. Not so good, Greene informed him. As always, the class had listened in dumb incomprehension. They seldom understood what Nelson was talking about, and when Miller launched into a similar enthusiastic tirade, their response, Greene laughed, was "Oh, no, we can't believe there's another one!"

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