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 underestimation (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 An attorney for the meat industry said Marler should not be underestimated. Washington Post, "He helped make burgers safer. Now he’s fighting food poisoning again.," 19 Jan. 2020 In the mid-00s, London nightlife was consumed by guitar bands and DJs and it can’t be underestimated how important this period of time was for Bombay Bicycle Club! Nick Williams, Billboard, "Bombay Bicycle Club's #TBT Mixtape Is Dedicated to Their 20s," 16 Jan. 2020 Gone were the days of underestimating icy puddles and paying with damp feet all day. Megan Angelo, Glamour, "An Exclusive Look at Megan Angelo's Debut Novel, Followers," 27 Dec. 2019 The Ford project moved forward without adequate plans to protect the neighborhoods from heavy, grossly underestimated traffic. Letter Writers, Twin Cities, "Letter: Ayd Mill changes will push more traffic into the neighborhoods," 22 Dec. 2019 But because people tend to overestimate their height and underestimate their weight, the findings were likely biased, Ward said. Erika Edwards, NBC News, "America's obesity epidemic, especially among women, expected to get worse," 18 Dec. 2019 Another milestone, another memory, for an undersized and once underestimated player who has broken just about every significant record a quarterback can break — and doesn’t look anywhere near done at age 40. Brett Martel, The Denver Post, "Drew Brees breaks Peyton Manning’s all-time TD mark as Saints crush Colts," 17 Dec. 2019 In the event, turnout among young people was higher, meaning the polls underestimated Labour’s support. The Economist, "How Britain’s pollsters have changed their methods," 9 Nov. 2019 Individuals who make romantic advances toward coworkers underestimate how uncomfortable the targets of their advances feel rejecting them. Vanessa K. Bohns, Quartz at Work, "Dating at work is a bad idea—just ask the fired CEO of McDonald’s," 4 Nov. 2019

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

7 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

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

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More Definitions for underestimate


How to pronounce underestimate (audio)

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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