un·​der·​es·​ti·​mate | \ ˌən-dər-ˈe-stə-ˌmāt How to pronounce underestimate (audio) \
underestimated; underestimating; underestimates

Definition of underestimate

transitive verb

1 : to estimate as being less than the actual size, quantity, or number
2 : to place too low a value on : underrate

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Other Words from underestimate

underestimate \ ˌən-​dər-​ˈe-​stə-​mət How to pronounce underestimate (audio) \ noun
underestimation \ ˌən-​dər-​ˌe-​stə-​ˈmā-​shən How to pronounce underestimate (audio) \ noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for underestimate



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Examples of underestimate in a Sentence

The city underestimated the cost of the new building. The number of people in the crowd was underestimated by 5,000. Never underestimate the importance of a good education. Her talent has always been underestimated.
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Recent Examples on the Web Putin’s plans, but Ukrainian officials worry Western allies will underestimate the Kremlin. Joel Gehrke, Washington Examiner, "Russian invasion of Ukraine is 'imminent,' warns senior British lawmaker," 21 Apr. 2021 The word itself — sterile, icy, impersonal — underscores how executives making these decisions underestimate the deeply human dimensions of the workplace. Erica Ariel Fox, Forbes, "Dream Of Offering Remote Work Forever? Here’s Why You Shouldn’t.," 15 Apr. 2021 Turkey has reported over 34,000 COVID-19 deaths, but like many countries, experts say those official figures underestimate the toll. Suzan Fraser, Star Tribune, "Turkey imposes partial Ramadan lockdown amid record cases," 13 Apr. 2021 The pre-pandemic data in the U.S. News report might underestimate some of Arizona's more recent economic momentum. Russ Wiles, The Arizona Republic, "Study ranks 'best states' for economy, education, health and other categories. See where Arizona landed," 9 Mar. 2021 Outsiders who see concussive hits underestimate the difficulty of giving up the intensity of NFL competition. Tom Krasovic, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Column: As Philip Rivers moves on, Big Ben plays on with Steelers," 5 Mar. 2021 Social media has become a valuable job search tool that many potential candidates underestimate. Caroline Castrillon, Forbes, "Why Your Job Search Isn’t Yielding Results," 11 Apr. 2021 The research suggests other models policymakers use significantly underestimate the impact of corporate taxes on consumers. Sarah Ewall-wice, CBS News, "What a corporate tax hike could mean for Americans," 1 Apr. 2021 But — of course, there’s always a but — researchers are also worried that Americans, so close to the finish line, may once again underestimate the virus. New York Times, "The Coronavirus Is Plotting a Comeback. Here’s Our Chance to Stop It for Good.," 25 Feb. 2021

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

1792, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for underestimate

Time Traveler

The first known use of underestimate was in 1792

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Statistics for underestimate

Last Updated

26 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Underestimate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/underestimate. Accessed 8 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for underestimate



English Language Learners Definition of underestimate

: to estimate (something) as being less than the actual size, quantity, or number
: to think of (someone or something) as being lower in ability, influence, or value than that person or thing actually is

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