Share this entry

Share this page

understate

Syllabification: un·der·state
Pronunciation: /ˌəndərˈstāt
 
/

Definition of understate in English:

verb

[with object]
Describe or represent (something) as being smaller, worse, or less important than it actually is: the press has understated the extent of the problem
More example sentences
  • That bland description understates the drama and stakes of the investigation.
  • Not only is there little sign of a cooling of this demand, but there is also a concern that the trade figures - awful as they are - may even be understating the volume of manufactured imports.
  • To describe e-mail as an enabling technology greatly understates its influence.
Synonyms
play down, downplay, underrate, underplay, de-emphasize, trivialize, minimize, diminish, downgrade, brush aside, gloss over, put it mildly
informal soft-pedal, sell short

Derivatives

understater

1
Pronunciation: /ˈəndərˌstātər/
noun
Example sentences
  • My mom and dad are going through what the understaters of the world would call a ‘rough time.’
  • Just now as he went out the door, I told my husband of your lack of progression and understater that he is (like all doctors) he got all excited and said ‘That's good!’
  • To say that the last two weeks have been ‘interesting’ would probably entitle me to some sort of award for being a horrible understater.

Definition of understate in:

Share this entry

Share this page

 

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day Sprachgefühl
Pronunciation: ˈʃprɑːxɡəˌfuːl
noun
intuitive understanding of a language’s natural idiom…