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 underdeveloped (audio) \ noun

Examples of underdeveloped in a Sentence

The baby was born with underdeveloped lungs.
Recent Examples on the Web Other things that barely matter: the awkward time jumps, underdeveloped characters (one in particular named Eirah), and some amateurish club scenes involving a lot of blue light. Jason Kehe, Wired, "The Wanting Mare Is the Most Visual Fantasy in Recent Memory," 12 Feb. 2021 Working from a take on Bonney originated by Gore Vidal, Penn and Newman treat him as a rebel with an overdeveloped sense of justice and underdeveloped impulse control. Keith Phipps, Vulture, "The 50 Greatest Western Movies of All Time," 18 Jan. 2021 The lack of non–English-language websites on the open Internet is a strong proxy for an underdeveloped digital economy. Samir Patil, Fortune, "The web must change its business model if it wants to become truly global and multilingual," 21 Dec. 2020 Her recent roles seem to be a stark contrast to Graham’s longtime TVD character Bonnie Bennett, who is, to this day, heavily criticised for being underdeveloped. Ariana Brockington, refinery29.com, "Netflix Star Kat Graham Is Done Taking Roles That Don’t Uplift Black Women," 25 Nov. 2020 Far from any major city, Ganjam is a socially conservative, underdeveloped district with endless rice fields, empty beaches, squiggly Candy Land roads and a long tradition of its people pulling for each other. New York Times, "The Virus Trains: How Lockdown Chaos Spread Covid-19 Across India," 16 Dec. 2020 His reservations lie with Hayes' underdeveloped right hand and limited explosion athletically. Tyler J. Davis, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit Pistons take Killian Hayes No. 7 overall: What draft analysts say about the pick," 19 Nov. 2020 This current project, known as Village 13, proposes 1,938 residential units, 40,000 square feet of commercial space, a 200-room resort, parks and a fire station on underdeveloped land. Gustavo Solis, San Diego Union-Tribune, "County needs to reassess wildfire risk of proposed Otay Ranch project, state AG says," 12 Nov. 2020 Thus, the film plays out like a mashup of a couple underdeveloped ideas that never fully gel. Bill Goodykoontz, The Arizona Republic, "'Fatman' should be the dumbest fun. Instead, it's just an action movie with some elves," 9 Nov. 2020

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

25 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Underdeveloped.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/underdeveloped. Accessed 1 Mar. 2021.

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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 How to pronounce underdeveloped (audio) \

Medical Definition of underdeveloped

: not normally or adequately developed underdeveloped muscles underdeveloped lungs

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