un·der·state | \ ˌən-dər-ˈstāt \
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

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Other words from understate

understatement \ˌən-dər-ˈstāt-mənt \ noun

Examples of understate in a Sentence

He understated his taxable income. She's trying to understate the issue.

Recent Examples on the Web

Mi Nuevo Nayarit This mariscos joint might not be among the city’s best, but the value of a place serving solid Mexican seafood deep into the night on the west side of town can’t be understated. Dominic Armato, azcentral, "10 best late night Phoenix restaurants: Great pizza, burgers, Asian, comfort food," 8 June 2018 The importance of the Mirotic trade can't be understated. Jeff Duncan, NOLA.com, "This Pelicans' season has been one of redemption for Dell Demps," 8 May 2018 One player whose impact cannot be understated is Hidalgo Villar , a transfer from Snowden International. Karl Capen, BostonGlobe.com, "Excel is re-energized on the diamond," 1 May 2018 After making his first two spring appearances in simulated games on the facility’s back fields, working his pitch count into the 60s while honing the feel for his pitches — Tillman’s struggles against the Minnesota Twins today can’t be understated. Eduardo A. Encina, baltimoresun.com, "Orioles right-hander Chris Tillman has wild spring training debut," 13 Mar. 2018 The significance of these three win cannot be understated given the dominance of Liga MX clubs in a competition that, at the same time, MLS clubs have never won. Juan Pimiento, chicagotribune.com, "Real Madrid, Juve advance in Champions League and the best of the week in soccer," 8 Mar. 2018 The impact of stagnant prices on households’ confidence and spending, after five years of steady growth, should not be understated. Samuel Tombs, WSJ, "Britain’s New Housing Dilemma," 7 Mar. 2018 Her makeup, by Jen Tioseco, was understated with the focus on flawless skin and a nude, matte lip. Tamara Abraham, Harper's BAZAAR, "This Bridal Shop Owner Wore Five Different Dresses for her Palm Springs Wedding," 10 July 2018 The song’s softly triumphant climax is the only real emotional catharsis, and it is beautifully understated. Dylan Scott, Vox, "The unexpected resonance of Zooropa, U2’s least-remembered album, 25 years later," 5 July 2018

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.

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First Known Use of understate

1824, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Phrases Related to understate

the understatement of the year

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Last Updated

1 Sep 2018

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The first known use of understate was in 1824

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English Language Learners Definition of understate

: to say that (something) is smaller, less important, etc., than it really is

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the setting in which something occurs

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