un·​der·​ac·​tive | \ ˌən-dər-ˈak-tiv How to pronounce underactive (audio) \

Definition of underactive

: characterized by an abnormally low level of activity an underactive thyroid gland

Other Words from underactive

underactivity \ ˌən-​dər-​ak-​ˈti-​və-​tē How to pronounce underactive (audio) \ noun

Examples of underactive in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web To diagnose a potential problem with your thyroid, your doctor will likely order a blood test to examine the level of your thyroid-stimulating hormone, which can signal that your thyroid is overactive or underactive. Korin Miller, SELF, 6 Oct. 2021 Although people often associate underactive — longer and overstretched — muscles with urinary incontinence, experts emphasized that the overactive muscles, which are also weak and not coordinated, could be to blame. Washington Post, 12 Feb. 2021 Over time, the medication may not be enough to keep symptoms away, leading to issues that mimic that of an underactive thyroid. Mike Wehner, BGR, 30 Apr. 2021 The show pokes fun at some of quarantine’s biggest challenges, including overeating, TV binge-watching, hyperactive children, underactive spouses and loads of alcohol. Brad Rhines, NOLA.com, 5 Oct. 2020 An underactive thyroid can cause dry skin that can lead to itchy breasts, in addition to many other symptoms like fatigue, constipation, thinning hair, and a slower heart rate, the Mayo Clinic says. Korin Miller, SELF, 10 Aug. 2020 Other possible causes of diffuse telogen hair loss include an overactive or underactive thyroid, with normal hair growth restored once the hormonal abnormality is corrected. New York Times, 3 Feb. 2020 The underactive thyroid condition puts her in a high-risk group for virus infection. Bruce Selcraig, ExpressNews.com, 16 Mar. 2020 His ailments included gout; a mild elevation of cholesterol; an inflammation of out-pouches in the bowel known as diverticulitis; and hormone replacement therapy for an underactive thyroid gland. New York Times, 4 Oct. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'underactive.' 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 underactive

1959, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of underactive was in 1959

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Last Updated

14 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Underactive.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/underactive. Accessed 30 Nov. 2021.

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More Definitions for underactive



English Language Learners Definition of underactive

: not active enough


un·​der·​ac·​tive | \ -ˈak-tiv How to pronounce underactive (audio) \

Medical Definition of underactive

: characterized by an abnormally low level of activity an underactive thyroid gland

Other Words from underactive

underactivity \ -​ak-​ˈtiv-​ət-​ē How to pronounce underactive (audio) \ noun, plural underactivities


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