un·der·stat·ed | \ ˌən-dər-ˈstā-təd \

Definition of understated 

: avoiding obvious emphasis or embellishment understated elegance

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Other words from understated

understatedly adverb

Examples of understated in a Sentence

the actor's understated interpretation of the lead role is surprisingly compelling

Recent Examples on the Web

That understated poise, coupled with our odd cultural tic of equating everything Hawaiian with easygoing chillness, clouds our appreciation of the meticulous labor and thoughtful innovation behind every dish on the Liholiho menu. Ali Bouzari, SFChronicle.com, "Housemade: The magic of Liholiho Yacht Club," 22 June 2018 Electro-pop duo Phantogram were one of many 88.9-approved artists to headline the festival this year, and their performance at the Miller Lite Oasis stage was one of the festival’s most understated and underrated sets. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Best and worst of Summerfest Day 10: Kip Moore, Jonathan Davis of Korn, Phantogram & more," 7 July 2018 Even parked by a wall of blazing bougainvillea, the car looks understated. Hannah Elliott, latimes.com, "In car-obsessed L.A. area, David Lee spent $1 million to update an infamous Ferrari," 4 May 2018 Stearns, who lives in south Natick and is writer-in-residence at Roxbury Latin School in Boston, writes with an understated elegance. Nina Maclaughlin, BostonGlobe.com, "Bookstore writers in residence, winner of poetry chapbook contest," 12 July 2018 This movie is one of the most sincere, beautiful, understated pieces of art from last year. Tom Philip, GQ, "The Best Movies/TV to Stream on Amazon Prime This July 4," 3 July 2018 Maier waited four years before presenting a ready-to-wear collection that has now become synonymous with understated elegance. Lindsay Peoples, The Cut, "Bottega Veneta Will Soon Have a New Designer," 13 June 2018 Once again Muti went for pastel timbres and understated elegance, molding the spare string complement around the tasteful, idiomatic solo playing of Sarah Bullen, the CSO’s splendid principal harpist. John Von Rhein, chicagotribune.com, "Review: Muti, CSO draw convincing contrasts in music of Debussy and Tchaikovsky," 20 Apr. 2018 Sandwiched in between these two understated entries is Rina B. Tsou's 942. Clarence Tsui, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Ten Years Taiwan': Film Review," 13 July 2018

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

circa 1909, in the meaning defined above

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Last Updated

16 Sep 2018

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Time Traveler for understated

The first known use of understated was circa 1909

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English Language Learners Definition of understated

: expressed or done in a quiet or simple way

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