un·​der·​state | \ ˌən-dər-ˈstāt How to pronounce understate (audio) \
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

Examples of understate in a Sentence

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

Recent Examples on the Web

The loss of Brontae Harris early in fall camp cannot be understated. Evan Dudley, al, "10 takeaways from UAB’s first 2 weeks," 11 Sep. 2019 The good Exceptional comfort, balanced sound, and understated design at an affordable price. Jeff Dunn, Ars Technica, "Guidemaster: The best gaming headsets for your console or gaming rig," 21 Aug. 2019 The loss of Redick to the New Orleans Pelicans should not be understated. Ira Winderman, sun-sentinel.com, "Winderman: Outside signings might prove more impactful to Heat | Commentary," 3 Aug. 2019 The journalist concluded that the magnate overstated his wealth for public consumption and understated it for tax purposes. Andrew C. Mccarthy, National Review, "Anatomy of a Farce," 13 Jan. 2018 The poll may understate support for the most common forms of busing. Washington Post, "Poll finds support for school busing to reduce segregation, but only among Democrats," 17 Sep. 2019 Bridgewater’s understated and likeable personality made the Minneapolis community and Vikings organization quickly fell in love with him, which made his career-altering knee injury before the 2016 season all the more devastating. Andy Benoit, SI.com, "With Drew Brees Injured, What Will the Saints Look Like With Teddy Bridgewater?," 15 Sep. 2019 And that understates Japan’s influence on global asset markets. The Economist, "How rock-bottom bond yields spread from Japan to the rest of the world," 14 Sep. 2019 The estimate almost certainly understates the proposal's full potential. Matt Stiles, www.latimes.com, "L.A. might ban homeless people from sleeping on many streets. What about your block?," 9 Sep. 2019

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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Statistics for understate

Last Updated

13 Oct 2019

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Time Traveler for understate

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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More from Merriam-Webster on understate

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with understate

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Spanish Central: Translation of understate

Nglish: Translation of understate for Spanish Speakers

Comments on understate

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to fake an opponent out of position

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