un·​der·​de·​vel·​oped | \ ˌən-dər-di-ˈve-ləpt How to pronounce underdeveloped (audio) \

Definition of underdeveloped

1 : not normally or adequately developed underdeveloped muscles underdeveloped film
2 : having a relatively low economic level of industrial production and standard of living (as from lack of capital) underdeveloped nations

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Other Words from underdeveloped

underdevelopment \ ˌən-​dər-​di-​ˈve-​ləp-​mənt How to pronounce underdevelopment (audio) \ noun

Examples of underdeveloped in a Sentence

The baby was born with underdeveloped lungs.
Recent Examples on the Web Our strategic aim in partnership with BCE has been to aggressively consolidate and maximize underdeveloped, undercapitalized or otherwise distressed areas in the Mid-Continent. Jordan Blum, Houston Chronicle, "Bankrupt Alta Mesa assets sold for $320M," 29 Jan. 2020 This extremely rural region, which has an underdeveloped economy and a lack of public transportation, would see hundreds of households lose their food stamps this year, the lawsuit said. Aimee Picchi, CBS News, "14 states sue to block Trump administration's food stamp cuts," 17 Jan. 2020 Jenson's compassion led him to focus on treatments that could reduce costs and improve medical access in underdeveloped regions and countries. Bailey Loosemore, The Courier-Journal, "A Louisville professor who helped develop the HPV vaccine has died at 80," 3 Jan. 2020 The other version circulated within the country: Indians derided the claim that their country would go from underdeveloped to superpower in such a short time span. Shoaib Daniyal, Quartz India, "2020 is here, not India’s predicted superpowers," 2 Jan. 2020 The lawsuit was a test for a growing movement to prohibit the plundering and exportation of national art treasures from underdeveloped nations. Dawn Mitchell, Indianapolis Star, "When a scandal over looted Cypriot mosaics was traced to a Carmel art dealer," 26 Dec. 2019 As for Europe’s capital markets -- which are severely underdeveloped compared with to the U.S. -- the task is to stop tinkering around the edges and undertake meaningful reforms in sensitive areas like insolvency laws and taxes. Jonathan Stearns, Bloomberg.com, "What’s Wrong With Europe and How Its New Chief Plans to Fix It," 29 Nov. 2019 Microscopic by national park standards, this 1.25-square-mile patch of steep hills, lakeside wetlands, forests, and prairie was remarkably underdeveloped and underutilized in 1904. National Geographic, "Beat the crowds at these abandoned U.S. national parks," 9 Nov. 2019 But the condition can cause the lungs to form underdeveloped, a potentially fatal symptom that can cause an infant to breathe abnormally. Jason Duaine Hahn, PEOPLE.com, "Uber Driver Buys Clothes for Sick Baby After Picking up New Mom: 'She Touched My Heart'," 25 Oct. 2019

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

1892, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for underdeveloped

Time Traveler

The first known use of underdeveloped was in 1892

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Statistics for underdeveloped

Last Updated

9 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Underdeveloped.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/underdeveloped. Accessed 19 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for underdeveloped


How to pronounce underdeveloped (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of underdeveloped

: not developed to a normal size or strength
of a country, society, etc. : having many poor people and few industries


un·​der·​de·​vel·​oped | \ ˌən-dər-di-ˈvel-əpt How to pronounce underdeveloped (audio) \

Medical Definition of underdeveloped

: not normally or adequately developed underdeveloped muscles underdeveloped lungs

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More from Merriam-Webster on underdeveloped

Spanish Central: Translation of underdeveloped

Nglish: Translation of underdeveloped for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of underdeveloped for Arabic Speakers

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