un·der·de·vel·oped | \ ˌən-dər-di-ˈve-ləpt \

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

Keep scrolling for more

Other words from underdeveloped

underdevelopment \ˌən-dər-di-ˈve-ləp-mənt \ noun

Examples of underdeveloped in a Sentence

The baby was born with underdeveloped lungs.

Recent Examples on the Web

All of these rumors seem underdeveloped at the moment and of course, even if Apple is testing a three-camera setup, the team could always change its mind and stick with the dual cameras. Ashley Carman, The Verge, "Rumors hint future iPhone X could have three cameras on the back," 1 June 2018 Production problems included getting around on the underdeveloped roads of the mountainous Caribbean island nation of Dominica. Charles Stockdale And John Harrington, USA TODAY, "From 'Transformers' to 'Avatar,' these are the 50 most expensive movies ever made," 6 July 2018 Briscoe often played off the ball; because of that, his point guard abilities were underdeveloped. Josh Robbins, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Orlando Magic, point guard Isaiah Briscoe reach deal," 5 July 2018 The city would waive 75 percent of USAA’s $1.2 million fee under its Inner City Reinvestment and Infill Policy, which is intended to encourage growth in underdeveloped parts of the urban core. Richard Webner, San Antonio Express-News, "City considers waiving $1.2 million fee for USAA parking lot," 19 June 2018 But the country’s farms are generally too small and underdeveloped to keep up. Raymond Zhong, BostonGlobe.com, "China’s taste for soybeans is a weak spot in trade war with Trump," 9 July 2018 Those caught in the transition may encounter trouble staying employed: job-retraining programmes are underdeveloped and age discrimination in hiring is widespread. The Economist, "Russia will raise pension ages that date back to Stalin," 30 June 2018 And the main characters remain underdeveloped, pronouncing their convictions in song without revealing much about themselves. Justin Hayford, Chicago Reader, "Haymarket is a workmanlike ode to the working man," 28 June 2018 The syndrome causes people to be born with underdeveloped muscles on one side of the body and could cause abnormalities in the chest, shoulder, arm and hand, according to the National Institutes of Health. Natalie Dreier, ajc, "Girl with 3D-printed hand throws White Sox first pitch on quest to pitch at every MLB ballpark," 13 June 2018

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.

See More

First Known Use of underdeveloped

1892, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about underdeveloped

Share underdeveloped

Statistics for underdeveloped

Last Updated

7 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for underdeveloped

The first known use of underdeveloped was in 1892

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for underdeveloped



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 \

Medical Definition of underdeveloped 

: not normally or adequately developed underdeveloped muscles underdeveloped lungs

Keep scrolling for more

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

Comments on underdeveloped

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


to make amends

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Musical Words Quiz

  • gramophone
  • Which word describes a musical performance marked by the absence of instrumental accompaniment?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Syn City

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!