un·​der·​achiev·​er | \ ˌən-dər-ə-ˈchē-vər How to pronounce underachiever (audio) \

Definition of underachiever

: one (such as a student) that fails to attain a predicted level of achievement or does not do as well as expected

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Other Words from underachiever

underachieve \ ˌən-​dər-​ə-​ˈchēv How to pronounce underachieve (audio) \ intransitive verb
underachievement \ ˌən-​dər-​ə-​ˈchēv-​mənt How to pronounce underachievement (audio) \ noun

Examples of underachiever in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Don't try this at home, people, but Pitt pulls off the middle-age underachiever look perfectly. Andrea Mandell, USA TODAY, "A breakdown of Brad Pitt's return to full hotness in 'Once Upon A Time in Hollywood'," 12 July 2019 An underachiever in Los Angeles time-travels to 14th-century England and battles an evil king. Los Angeles Times, "Movies on TV this week Sept. 15, 2019: ‘Alien,’ ‘Aliens’ and more," 13 Sep. 2019 Biggest underachiever: Tight end Mike Gesicki Gesicki, a 2018 second-round draft pick who had a rough rookie season, has come on a bit as a pass-catcher in Miami’s new offense. Omar Kelly, Sun-Sentinel.com, "Kelly: Here’s a look at the Miami Dolphins’ highs and lows from training camp and preseason | Commentary," 1 Sep. 2019 The Sox are one of baseball biggest underachievers this season, mired in third place and on pace to win 86 games — 22 fewer than last season. Peter Abraham, BostonGlobe.com, "Selected or not, Rafael Devers is a star for Red Sox," 6 July 2019 Despite those impressive career accomplishments, the Tampa, Florida, native Gooden has long been considered an underachiever who fell short of his potential because of substance abuse. NBC News, "Former Mets ace Dwight Gooden arrested on cocaine possession charge in New Jersey," 12 July 2019 Mexico has sometimes been a World Cup underachiever, often had more talent than tenacity, and regularly saw its nerve fail when the opportunity for greatness presented. Martin Rogers, USA TODAY, "Is Mexico the real deal? Upset of Germany could be the start of a deep World Cup run," 17 June 2018 And yes, count the United States squarely among the underachievers – this year at least. Martin Rogers, USA TODAY, "Why the world's biggest countries fail with the World Cup," 8 July 2018 Park’s exploits with Vietnam, a perennial football underachiever in the region, have been followed closely in the Korean media. John Duerden, The Seattle Times, "Son and co faced Vietnam and ‘Korean Hiddink’ at Asian Games," 27 Aug. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'underachiever.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of underachiever

1952, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for underachiever

Last Updated

12 Oct 2019

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Time Traveler for underachiever

The first known use of underachiever was in 1952

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More Definitions for underachiever



English Language Learners Definition of underachiever

: someone (such as a student or athlete) who does not perform as well or work as hard as he or she can


un·​der·​achiev·​er | \ ˌən-dər-ə-ˈchē-vər How to pronounce underachiever (audio) \

Medical Definition of underachiever

: a person (as a student) who fails to attain a predicted level of achievement or does not do as well as expected

Other Words from underachiever

underachieve \ -​ˈchēv \ intransitive verb underachieved; underachieving
underachievement \ -​mənt How to pronounce underachievement (audio) \ noun

Comments on underachiever

What made you want to look up underachiever? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a topic to which one constantly reverts

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