understate

verb
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

The forehead is steeper and the brow is more understated, explains study coauthor Alejandra Oritz, a postdoctoral researcher at Arizona State University. National Geographic, "Ancient Royal Tomb Yields Strange New Ape Species," 21 June 2018 The assessments may understate the properties’ values considerably. Todd Wallack, BostonGlobe.com, "For some State Police, it’s a posting in paradise," 14 July 2018 This dramatically understates the economy’s actual performance. Jason Furman, WSJ, "The Economy Is Growing Faster Than the Government Says," 9 July 2018 Silva has come into the tournament this summer as a Premier League champion after playing a vital, yet understated, part in Manchester City's success last season - the third league title of his eight-year spell at the Etihad. SI.com, "Man City Star Plays Down Talk of Spain Retirement But Admits This Could Be His Last World Cup," 19 June 2018 Rodriguez breeds devotion not only with the extraordinary, yet understated cut and fit of his dresses, but also with his sensitivity. Nicole Phelps, Vogue, "Love Letters for Narciso: Sarah Jessica Parker, Claire Danes, and More Pen Odes to the Beloved Designer," 29 May 2018 But navigators say this understates their accomplishments. Margaret Hartmann, Daily Intelligencer, "Trump Administration Aims to Steer People Toward Junk Health Plans Over Obamacare," 11 July 2018 The announcement also said navigators helped enroll fewer than 1 percent of the nearly 12 million Americans who signed up for ACA coverage for 2018 - a figure that navigators contend understates their accomplishments. chicagotribune.com, "Trump's cuts to grants that help Americans get ACA coverage are latest strategy to undermine the law," 11 July 2018 The announcement also said navigators helped enroll fewer than 1 percent of the nearly 12 million Americans who signed up for ACA coverage for 2018 - a figure that navigators contend understates their accomplishments. Amy Goldstein, Anchorage Daily News, "Administration slashes grants to help Americans get Affordable Care Act coverage," 11 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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Last Updated

10 Nov 2018

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Time Traveler for understate

The first known use of understate was in 1824

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More Definitions for understate

understate

verb

English Language Learners Definition of understate

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

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