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give (one) to believe
To cause one to believe something. Why should I worry? The boss has never given me to believe that she's displeased with my work.
give (one) to understand
To cause one to understand or believe something. Why should I worry? The boss has never given me to understand that she's displeased with my work.
give someone to understand something
to explain something to someone; to imply something to someone. (Possibly misleading someone, accidentally or intentionally. See also given to understand.) Mr. Smith gave Sally to understand that she should be home by midnight. The mayor gave the citizens to understand that there would be no tax increase. He didn't promise, though.
given to understand
[of someone] made to believe [something]. (See also give someone to understand.) They were given to understand that there would be no tax increase, but after the election taxes went up. She was given to understand that she had to be home by midnight.
I don't understand (it).and I can't understand (it).
I am confused and bewildered (by what has happened). Bill: Everyone is leaving the party. Mary: I don't understand. It's still so early. Bob: The very idea, Sue and Tom doing something like that! Alice: It's very strange. I can't understand it.
See also: understand
give to understand
Lead one to think, as in I was given to understand that the President was coming here. [Mid-1500s]