un·​der·​treat ˌən-dər-ˈtrēt How to pronounce undertreat (audio)
undertreated; undertreating; undertreats

transitive verb

: to treat inadequately
undertreat a disease

Examples of undertreat in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Today, in our more enlightened times, listening to the science sometimes means listening to the doctors who systematically undertreat pain in their Black patients. John Patrick Leary, The New Republic, 16 Apr. 2021 The drugmaker Purdue Pharma had sent an army of sales reps into eastern Kentucky and other regions with high disability rates to promote the idea that pain was vastly undertreated, and that its new drug was virtually nonaddictive. Beth MacY, The Atlantic, 9 Apr. 2020 The backdrop for its start was a long-standing debate over whether patients were being undertreated for pain because of doctors’ fears about addiction. Washington Post, 27 Aug. 2019 There is a need for Reyvow because migraines remain under-recognized and undertreated. Blair Chance, ABC News, 15 Feb. 2020 The society’s president at the time was Dr. Russell Portenoy, who frequently argued that chronic pain was being undertreated in the United States and later acknowledged exaggerating the benefits of opioids and understating the risks. Casey Ross, STAT, 2 Dec. 2019

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'undertreat.' 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

1721, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of undertreat was in 1721

Dictionary Entries Near undertreat

Cite this Entry

“Undertreat.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/undertreat. Accessed 24 Apr. 2024.

Medical Definition


transitive verb
un·​der·​treat -ˈtrēt How to pronounce undertreat (audio)
: to treat (as a condition, disease, or patient) inadequately
undertreat a disease
evidence shows that hospitalized patients are undertreated for painHarvard Medical School Health Letter
undertreatment noun
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