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 Researchers have warned for months that official coronavirus death counts underestimate the total damage wrought by the virus, especially because not everybody is tested before dying. Joe Walsh, Forbes, "Worldwide Covid Death Count Is More Than Twice Official Tallies, Study Finds," 6 May 2021 Davis’ 2003 recall offers a cautionary tale for those who underestimate the power of a popular revolt, and the role radio can play in it. Los Angeles Times, "How three political novices with turbulent pasts helped spark the Newsom recall," 1 May 2021 Those figures likely underestimate the true scope of the pandemic in the country, many experts believe. Meena Thiruvengadam, Travel + Leisure, "U.S. to Restrict Travel From India Starting Tuesday," 30 Apr. 2021 But even if polls underestimate the number of potential consumers, most experts downplay the size of the Mexican market. Oscar Lopez, BostonGlobe.com, "A green wave? Mexico’s marijuana market may be middling," 13 Mar. 2021 But even if polls underestimate the number of potential consumers, most experts downplay the size of the market in Mexico. New York Times, "A Green Wave? Mexico’s Marijuana Market May Be Middling," 12 Mar. 2021 But state officials say those numbers underestimate Texas’ adult population by roughly 1 million people — a large part of the reason why Texas ranks so low in its distribution compared to other states. Jordan Rubio, San Antonio Express-News, "Outdated population data may be costing Texas millions of COVID-19 vaccine doses," 11 Mar. 2021 Putin’s plans, but Ukrainian officials worry Western allies will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

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 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Underestimate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/underestimate. Accessed 17 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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