Skip to main content

natural-language understanding

natural-language understanding The processing of utterances in human language (natural language as opposed to programming language) in order to extract meaning and respond appropriately. The main natural language studied has been written English, although there has also been work on other languages and on speech (see speech understanding). The processing requires both syntactic knowledge about the language concerned and semantic knowledge of the relationship between the utterance and what it means, usually in a knowledge base containing an internal representation of the world. Grammatical and semantic rules are used to analyze the utterance into logical formulae or semantic networks, where the meaning representation can be used by a reasoning system. See also discourse understanding.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"natural-language understanding." A Dictionary of Computing. . 11 Feb. 2019 <>.

"natural-language understanding." A Dictionary of Computing. . (February 11, 2019).

"natural-language understanding." A Dictionary of Computing. . Retrieved February 11, 2019 from

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

The Chicago Manual of Style

American Psychological Association

  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.