un·​der·​re·​act | \ ˌən-dər-rē-ˈakt How to pronounce underreact (audio) \
underreacted; underreacting; underreacts

Definition of underreact

intransitive verb

: to react with less than appropriate force or intensity

Examples of underreact in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Meanwhile, recent studies show that people who underreact to stress are more likely to have impulsive behavior and substance addiction. Bridget Alex, Discover Magazine, "What Science Says About Why You're Stressed and How to Cope," 21 June 2019 Your biggest mistakes will come from overreacting to the latest stock swings, not underreacting. Shlomo Benartzi, WSJ, "The High Financial Price of Our Short Attention Spans," 21 Oct. 2018 Like Khaled, Wikström chronically underreacts to everything around him, though the effect is comic as opposed to bittersweet. Ben Sachs, Chicago Reader, "Comedy / Film / Foreign The Other Side of Hope is a career-best achievement for Finnish director Aki Kaurismäki," 9 Jan. 2018 But with jobs growth this strong, the Fed can’t risk underreacting either, even with inflation well below its 2% target. Justin Lahart, WSJ, "Markets Not Ready for Jump in Jobs," 7 July 2017 But Susan Greenhalgh, who is part of an election security group called Verified Voting, worried that authorities underreacted. Charles P. Pierce, Esquire, "There Are Two New Fronts in the War on Voting," 11 Aug. 2017 Baena turns the sacrament of confession into a running gag, with Father Tommasso underreacting to various squalid revelations, yet Fernanda shows up with nothing on her conscience. J.r. Jones, Chicago Reader, "Medieval nuns own their pleasure in The Little Hours," 13 July 2017 As signs of trouble mounted alarmingly for years, top leaders consistently underreacted. Geoff Colvin, Fortune, "Inside Wells Fargo’s Plan to Fix Its Culture Post-Scandal," 11 June 2017

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

1965, in the meaning defined above

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Last Updated

5 Jul 2019

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Time Traveler for underreact

The first known use of underreact was in 1965

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to form ideas or theories about something

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