underestimate

verb

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

transitive verb

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

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.
Recent Examples on the Web But even after his ouster, the country’s military leaders appeared to underestimate the country’s shifting political sands. Christina Goldbaum, New York Times, 11 Feb. 2024 In 2022, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported earlier that there was a 5.5% uptick in Black suicides and that the number is likely underestimated. Kimanzi Constable, Parents, 11 Feb. 2024 Don’t overreact; take a low-key approach, and anyone who challenges you will underestimate your power. Eugenia Last, The Mercury News, 11 Feb. 2024 While small, the value of this outdoor space shouldn’t be underestimated, particularly for itineraries rich with scenic cruising, like voyages to Alaska or the Baltic Sea. Scott Laird, Condé Nast Traveler, 6 Feb. 2024 Never underestimate the allure of stuff between bread. Jenn Harris, Los Angeles Times, 5 Feb. 2024 That’s not to say that Smith underestimates the status of Kelce’s superstar girlfriend, however. Hannah Dailey, Billboard, 25 Jan. 2024 The church’s temporal soft power is sometimes underestimated. David Harsanyi, National Review, 25 Jan. 2024 Officials said the woman was trying to drive across a bridge over the creek around 7:30 p.m. Monday night and became trapped after underestimating how deep the fast-flowing water was. Harry Harris, The Mercury News, 23 Jan. 2024 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'underestimate.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1792, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of underestimate was in 1792

Dictionary Entries Near underestimate

Cite this Entry

“Underestimate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/underestimate. Accessed 20 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition

underestimate

verb
un·​der·​es·​ti·​mate ˌən-də-ˈres-tə-ˌmāt How to pronounce underestimate (audio)
1
: to estimate as being less than the actual size, quantity, or number
underestimate the cost of a new building
2
: to place too low a value on : underrate
underestimate an opponent
underestimate noun
underestimation noun

More from Merriam-Webster on underestimate

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