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 For the guy who values comfort: Bombas Socks Never underestimate the value of a good pair of socks. Amanda Tarlton, USA TODAY, "50+ amazing gifts that men actually want," 24 Nov. 2020 People who underestimate their life expectancy could save too little for retirement and run short of cash. Liz Weston, oregonlive, "Liz Weston: What’s your life expectancy for retirement planning? Depends on whom you ask," 9 Nov. 2020 The latest office leasing figures probably underestimate the true amount of surplus space up for grabs in North Texas. Steve Brown, Dallas News, "COVID-19 ravages D-FW office market," 13 Oct. 2020 The prevailing methods result in projections that likely underestimate both the true cost of tax cuts and the revenue potential of tax hikes. Owen Zidar, Fortune, "Trump’s capital gains tax cut will cost much more than we think," 3 Oct. 2020 The study’s findings still underestimate the true number of reptile species caught up in trade, Hughes says, because its analysis did not include social media sites—where previous research has shown that high levels of wildlife trade take place. Rachel Nuwer, Scientific American, "Online Reptile Trade Is a Free-for-All That Threatens Thousands of Species," 29 Sep. 2020 Our findings likely underestimate the scope of private equity expansion into women’s health. Alexander Borsa, STAT, "When private equity firms invest in women’s health clinics, who benefits?," 14 Sep. 2020 Recommendations for in-person classes at many colleges and universities flagrantly underestimate the potential for spread on campuses and have already created local outbreaks that number in the thousands of new infections. C. Brandon Ogbunu, Wired, "The Flagrant Hypocrisy of Bungled College Reopenings," 2 Sep. 2020 But the health department has said its ability to report all cases in a timely way has been limited, and that recent case counts underestimate the true number of statewide infections. Anchorage Daily News, "Tracking COVID-19 in Alaska: 427 new cases, no deaths reported Monday," 14 Dec. 2020

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

8 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Underestimate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/underestimate. Accessed 16 Jan. 2021.

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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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