un·​der·​stat·​ed ˌən-dər-ˈstā-təd How to pronounce understated (audio)
: avoiding obvious emphasis or embellishment
understated elegance
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 And it was explained to me, my father was a very understated man. Tommy McArdle, Peoplemag, 15 Mar. 2024 The bracelet is quite understated, too, with a refined mesh that results in a more fluid feel and less chunky look. Cait Bazemore, Robb Report, 29 June 2023 Bradley Cooper’s best performance to date is also his most understated, playing a reserved and disturbed country artist who discovers a show-stopping singer (Lady Gaga) and embarks on a doomed love affair. Eric Farwell, EW.com, 8 Mar. 2024 Ed McCaffrey’s powerful but understated game as a 13-year NFL wide receiver produced one Super Bowl title with San Francisco and two with Denver. Kyle Newman, The Denver Post, 10 Feb. 2024 Masculinity had long been Sante’s oversold thesis, and here came the more honest and understated antithesis. Dwight Garner, New York Times, 3 Feb. 2024 The Friends alum paired the understated look, which featured an asymmetrical hemline that hit above her knee and pleats on the sides, with a delicate necklace and ankle-strap heels. Michelle Lee, Peoplemag, 19 Feb. 2024 If an Italian villa and a classic and understated look is more your style, pale pink damask wallpaper makes the perfect backdrop ($55, burkedecor.com). Charlotte Observer, 31 Jan. 2024 Venba With understated charm, everything faintly glowing oven red, the short narrative cooking sim Venba helped define 2023 cozy games. Vulture, 2 Feb. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'understated.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

circa 1909, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of understated was circa 1909

Dictionary Entries Near understated

Cite this Entry

“Understated.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/understated. Accessed 20 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


un·​der·​stat·​ed ˌən-dər-ˈstāt-əd How to pronounce understated (audio)
: expressed or done in a quiet or simple fashion

More from Merriam-Webster on understated

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