underestimate

verb
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

Synonyms

underrate, undervalue

Antonyms

overestimate, overrate, overvalue

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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

This was especially true for men who had underestimated peer agreement. Kevin Lewis, BostonGlobe.com, "Looking for negative signals," 6 July 2018 Apple may have underestimated how competitive domestic smartphone makers have become, analysts say. Yoko Kubota, WSJ, "Apple’s Troubles Extend Beyond China," 3 Jan. 2019 At the time, the DWP ultimately acknowledged that the utility had badly underestimated how much electricity would be in demand as temperatures soared. Javier Panzar, latimes.com, "Hundreds of customers are still without power as hot and angry Angelenos fume at the DWP," 10 July 2018 Study lead author Hubertus Fischer of the University of Bern in Switzerland and his team found that our current climate predictions may underestimate long-term warming by as much as a factor of two. Doyle Rice, USA TODAY, "Global warming could be far worse than predicted, new study suggests," 6 July 2018 The essays have raised concerns that the ruling Communist Party underestimated the depth of anti-China sentiment in Washington and risked a premature showdown with the world’s sole superpower. Bloomberg.com, "China Begins to Question Whether It’s Ready for a Trade War," 26 June 2018 Speaking of, do *not* underestimate the power of a simple metal bar like the KUNGSFORS rail. Jessica Dailey, Good Housekeeping, "X-tra Counter Space," 11 Feb. 2019 Never underestimate the appeal of certainty—or the propensity for hubris. Frank Rose, WSJ, "‘The Age of Surveillance Capitalism’ Review: The New Big Brother," 14 Jan. 2019 Image Never underestimate the ability of the French to find deep meaning in the zombie apocalypse. Jason Zinoman, New York Times, "Review: In ‘The Night Eats the World,’ Zombie Apocalypse Now, Again," 12 July 2018

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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Statistics for underestimate

Last Updated

18 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for underestimate

The first known use of underestimate was in 1792

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More Definitions for underestimate

underestimate

verb

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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Comments on underestimate

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