un·​der·​state | \ ˌən-dər-ˈstāt How to pronounce understate (audio) \
understated; understating; understates

Definition of understate

transitive verb

1 : to represent as less than is the case understate taxable income
2 : to state or present with restraint especially for effect

Examples of understate in a Sentence

He understated his taxable income. She's trying to understate the issue.
Recent Examples on the Web While Street Earnings overstate profits for the majority of S&P 500 companies, as shown in Street Earnings Overstated for 67% of S&P 500 Companies in 1Q22, there are many S&P 500 companies whose Street Earnings understate their true Core Earnings. David Trainer, Forbes, 7 July 2022 To say the Pimm’s Cup is extremely British is to still somehow understate it. Jason O'bryan, Robb Report, 17 June 2022 The proposal, reported earlier by Bloomberg News, also calls for a 25% excise tax on stock buybacks and would close an accounting loophole on inventories that critics say allows oil companies to understate their profits and defer taxes indefinitely. Matt Egan, CNN, 14 June 2022 The Positive Impacts of Refugees Are Understated?: Nearly all studies on refugees may understate the positive impact of refugees due to limitations in the data. Stuart Anderson, Forbes, 26 May 2022 There was no way to verify the toll, and Russian officials often understate casualty figures. Washington Post, 2 Mar. 2022 Reporting of Russian military casualties is practically nonexistent, limited to official Defense Ministry statistics that dramatically understate losses. Washington Post, 11 Mar. 2022 Street Earnings understate Core Earnings by >10% for ~9% of S&P 500 companies. David Trainer, Forbes, 14 Apr. 2022 Now, that's again not to understate the difficulties of the political timetable which have been set before us. Tax Notes Staff, Forbes, 20 Jan. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'understate.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of understate

1824, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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The first known use of understate was in 1824

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Last Updated

17 Jul 2022

Cite this Entry

“Understate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/understate. Accessed 7 Aug. 2022.

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