un·​der·​achiev·​er | \ˌən-dər-ə-ˈchē-vər \

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 \ intransitive verb
underachievement \ ˌən-​dər-​ə-​ˈchēv-​mənt \ noun

Examples of underachiever in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

The Cleveland Cavaliers and Indiana Pacers were trading blows all throughout their Eastern Conference first round matchup, LeBron James and his band of underachievers on one side and Victor Oladipo and his spirited group on the other. Sam Amick, USA TODAY, "Why I bet against LeBron James and the Cavaliers in Game 7," 29 Apr. 2018 One moment, the 2018 Warriors are at serious risk of becoming the NBA’s biggest underachievers of the 21st century, the next Thompson saves his Superteam’s season yet again. Ben Golliver, SI.com, "The Warriors Cheat Death Again Thanks to Klay Thompson," 27 May 2018 Meantime, England and France, big names but classic underachievers, took dissimilar paths. Steven Goff, chicagotribune.com, "'Hard-working, compact, united and well-organized': The World Cup's surprising final four," 8 July 2018 Exciting to fall under .500 and be widely recognized as the biggest underachievers in baseball on the Fourth of July? Paul Sullivan, chicagotribune.com, "Nationals spinning out of control under rookie manager Dave Martinez," 7 July 2018 Still, Transnet remained an underachiever, its ports inadequate, its freight rail system moribund. New York Times, "How McKinsey Lost Its Way in South Africa," 26 June 2018 Washington has been this season’s biggest underachiever. Tom Verducci, SI.com, "Nine Innings: How Bryce Harper Is Trying to Revive His Season, What We Learned in the First Half and More," 9 July 2018 Japan will take on Poland in their final FIFA World Cup Group H match in Volgograd on Thursday, in a clash between one of the tournament's surprise packages and one of its most shocking underachievers. SI.com, "World Cup Preview: Japan vs Poland - Recent Form, Team News, Predicted Lineups & More," 27 June 2018 Dallas Mavericks: Trae Young, PG, Oklahoma 6 feet 2 inches, 180 pounds Young is either the next Steph Curry or a mistake-prone underachiever who has already been figured out by the competition. Benjamin Hoffman, New York Times, "2018 N.B.A. Draft Results: Analysis of Every Pick in Round 1," 21 June 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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Last Updated

26 Oct 2018

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Time Traveler for underachiever

The first known use of underachiever was in 1952

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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 \

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 \ noun

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