un·​der·​nu·​tri·​tion ˌən-dər-nu̇-ˈtri-shən How to pronounce undernutrition (audio)
: deficient bodily nutrition due to inadequate food intake or faulty assimilation

Examples of undernutrition in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Some recipients of the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children may be turned away from stores as early as next week, said Geri Henchy, director of nutrition policy at Food Research & Action Center, a nonprofit organization for eradicating hunger and undernutrition. Laura Reiley, Washington Post, 27 Sep. 2023 Researchers also noted that improvement in reducing children’s poverty – which is specifically linked to undernutrition and lack of schooling – lagged behind gains for adults, and that better data will enhance the ability to track and intercept the conditions that contribute to poverty. Cameron Pugh, The Christian Science Monitor, 25 Aug. 2023 The risk of hypothermia and serious respiratory infections threaten children whose immune systems are often already weakened from undernutrition. Forbes, 10 Feb. 2023 The number of children grappling with various forms of undernutrition in Sri Lanka increased for the first time in at least six years in 2022, a government report and data from the health ministry indicate. Fox News, 18 Jan. 2023 Like many middle-income countries, Mexico has seen the health risks associated with overconsumption surpass the health risks of undernutrition. Greg Miller, Discover Magazine, 22 Oct. 2019 This has resulted in undernutrition and starvation of those living in the Global South. Jennifer Stojkovic, Rolling Stone, 8 Dec. 2022 The term refers to both undernutrition (food deprivation) and overnutrition (excessive food consumption with regards to energy requirements). CNN, 17 Feb. 2022 Little walks readers through the many complex threats to our food supply, including industrial agriculture’s role in waste, undernutrition and overconsumption; agricultural consolidation; and the harm to biodiversity. Amanda Little, Washington Post, 30 Aug. 2019

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'undernutrition.' 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

1876, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of undernutrition was in 1876

Dictionary Entries Near undernutrition

Cite this Entry

“Undernutrition.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/undernutrition. Accessed 17 Jun. 2024.

Medical Definition


un·​der·​nu·​tri·​tion -n(y)u̇-ˈtrish-ən How to pronounce undernutrition (audio)
: deficient bodily nutrition due to inadequate food intake or faulty assimilation

called also hyponutrition

undernutritional adjective

More from Merriam-Webster on undernutrition

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