un·​der·​stat·​ed | \ ˌən-dər-ˈstā-təd How to pronounce understated (audio) \

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

There are thriller elements in Coyote Lake, to be sure, but they're delivered in relatively understated fashion. Frank Scheck, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Coyote Lake': Film Review," 31 July 2019 However, the understated act of kindness was not lost on Thailand's goalkeeper. Christina Capatides, CBS News, "While the world is debating Team USA's goal celebrations, it missed what Carli Lloyd did," 13 June 2019 Despite having access to the most extravagant jewelry and couture finery the world has to offer, the Duchess of Cambridge prefers to keep things understated no matter the occasion. Janelle Okwodu, Vogue, "Kate Middleton’s Monochromatic Style Has a Socially Conscious Message," 22 Jan. 2019 As many predicted, Meghan kept her makeup understated, natural and simple, with a focus on the eyes: dark liner, lots of lashes, neutral shadows and light foundation to showcase her freckles. Kaitlyn Frey, PEOPLE.com, "Meghan Markle's Bridal Beauty: All About Her Radiant Wedding Look," 19 May 2018 Awkwafina, who made a name for herself with larger-than-life comedic performances, is quiet, understated and heartbreaking as Billi, who is grappling with the idea of impermanence while her own life stands still. Lindsey Bahr, Detroit Free Press, "‘The Farewell’ is a bittersweet family story," 25 July 2019 But there’s virtuosity at work in this beguiling comedy that’s no less impressive for being improvisational, understated and refreshingly self-effacing. Ann Hornaday, Twin Cities, "‘Sword of Trust’ is a beguiling, smart — and surprisingly deep — comedy," 25 July 2019 His late work would increasingly be defined by softly curving facades of glass, and a determination to find quiet, understated but memorable sculptural form, part of a lifelong search for alternatives to the boxy towers of midcentury modernism. New York Times, "Cesar Pelli, Designer of Iconic Buildings Around the World, Dies at 92," 20 July 2019 Bella was dressed in a black corset-peplum top and some high-waisted trousers, both understated and polished, and lace Christian Louboutin pumps. Vogue, "Bella and Gigi Hadid Level Up Their Sister Style for Marc Jacobs’s Wedding," 7 Apr. 2019

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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Statistics for understated

Last Updated

19 Aug 2019

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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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More from Merriam-Webster on understated

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with understated

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for understated

Nglish: Translation of understated for Spanish Speakers

Comments on understated

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to move or obtain by small maneuvers

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