un·​der·​per·​form | \ˌən-dər-pər-ˈfȯrm, -pə-ˈfȯrm\
underperformed; underperforming; underperforms

Definition of underperform 

transitive verb

: to do worse than

intransitive verb

: to fail to do as well as expected

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Other Words from underperform

underperformance \ ˌən-​dər-​pər-​ˈfȯr-​mən(t)s , -​pə-​ˈfȯr-​ \ noun
underperformer noun

Examples of underperform in a Sentence

The report shows which schools are underperforming.

Recent Examples on the Web

However, Jurgen Klopp has a habit of getting the best out of underperforming players and has seen enough potential in Shaqiri to pursue an interest in the £12m man. SI.com, "REVEALED: How Liverpool Target Xherdan Shaqiri Was Blocked From Reds Move in 2014," 8 June 2018 Get our daily newsletter Several bits of the group—a hotch-potch that includes submarine-, ship- and lift-building, auto supplies and a unit for constructing entire factories—underperform their peers. The Economist, "Activist investors go after a German industrial icon," 31 May 2018 Trump got 52% of the vote here in 2012, underperforming Romney's 54% mark. Terence Burlij, CNN, "House Key Race alerts: Paul Ryan's and six other seats move toward Democrats," 11 Apr. 2018 As part of a plan to close 15 underperforming stores nationwide, Fresh Market will soon close its north Charlotte store on Prosperity Church Road. Katherine Peralta, charlotteobserver, "Fresh Market to close one of its Charlotte stores," 9 July 2018 Under Parneros, the company continued to close underperforming stores. Alex Shephard, The New Republic, "Is Barnes & Noble Too Big to Fail?," 6 July 2018 The former Taco Bell chief also wants to close underperforming stores and cut some management roles. Caitlin Ostroff, WSJ, "The Score: The Business Week in 7 Stocks," 29 June 2018 These are good signs for an offense that long has been underperforming. Nick Piecoro, azcentral, "Diamondbacks' Paul Goldschmidt stays hot, blasts two homers vs. Rockies," 8 June 2018 SportsPulse: USA TODAY Sports' Steve Gardner breaks down which teams are on fire and which teams are underperforming. Anthony Fenech, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit Tigers' Miguel Cabrera could be headed to disabled list," 4 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'underperform.' 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 underperform

1971, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

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Statistics for underperform

Last Updated

8 Nov 2018

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The first known use of underperform was in 1971

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More Definitions for underperform



Financial Definition of underperform

What It Is

The term underperform refers to an analyst recommendation that a stock is expected to do slightly worse than the overall market return.

How It Works

Analysts regularly evaluate and project stock performance.  Analysts may provide this service on behalf of a particular brokerage house, or for private clients, or even for public dissemination through reports and investment publications.    Analysts will evaluate the financial conditions of an underlying security and any competitive information available about the industry.  Based on this analysis, a stock may be described along a range from the lowest rating, "strong sell," (i.e. not expected to perform well or recover) to the highest rating, "strong buy" (i.e. big performance gains expected).  Analysts generally use the term "underperform" to refer to a stock that is fundamentally stable, but expected to perform below the market or industry sector to which the stock belongs.   The category “underperform” is alternatively referred to as "moderate sell" or "weak hold."

Why It Matters

Investors can gather valuable information from analysts' recommendations about particular stocks.  Not all analysts' recommendations are consistent or based on the same measures of a company's activities or expected performance.  Understanding and weighing varying recommendations is an important part of an investor's work.

Source: Investing Answers



English Language Learners Definition of underperform

: to be less successful than expected or required

Comments on underperform

What made you want to look up underperform? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to express warning or disapproval

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