Share this entry

underachieve Syllabification: un·der·a·chieve
Pronunciation: /ˌəndərəˈCHēv/

Definition of underachieve in English:


[no object]
Do less well than is expected, especially in schoolwork.
Example sentences
  • It is hard to believe he was a child who consistently underachieved at school, whose reports said ‘nice and friendly’ but never mentioned any outstanding mental ability.
  • All had underachieved at school, had few if any qualifications and had no job.
  • These are aimed at pupils who are underachieving or at risk of exclusion and cover basic skills like literacy and numeracy as well as sport, music, ICT and media courses.



Pronunciation: /ˌənd(ə)rəˈCHēvmənt/
Example sentences
  • Corsham School pupils at risk of exclusion, truancy or underachievement will be taking part in a personal development programme set up by The Prince's Trust and supported by Bath Rugby Club.
  • Three parts of my heritage: lower-middle class upbringing, integrity and values from my parents, underachievement at school.
  • It is unusual for the World Cup to have ‘new’ winners, let alone ones burdened with a reputation for underachievement and a lack of adequate goalscorers.


Example sentences
  • I was expected to do it; I knew I should do it and that if I didn't I would be put in the box of losers, underachievers.
  • Yet now these gap-year students and educational underachievers are formally charged with divesting our children of their ignorance; or at least the children who are sent to nursery schools or childminding circles.
  • Within a fortnight of its American release it had earned £75 million - a bona fide critical and commercial box-office hit in a summer of heavy-hitting underachievers.

Words that rhyme with underachieve

achieve, believe, breve, cleave, conceive, deceive, eve, greave, grieve, heave, interleave, interweave, khedive, leave, misconceive, naive, Neve, peeve, perceive, reave, receive, reive, relieve, reprieve, retrieve, sheave, sleeve, steeve, Steve, Tananarive, Tel Aviv, thieve, upheave, weave, we've, Yves

Definition of underachieve in:

Share this entry


What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day doofus
Pronunciation: ˈduːfʌs
a stupid person