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underestimate

[verb uhn-der-es-tuh-meyt; noun uhn-der-es-tuh-mit, -meyt]
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verb (used with object), un·der·es·ti·mat·ed, un·der·es·ti·mat·ing.
  1. to estimate at too low a value, rate, or the like.
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verb (used without object), un·der·es·ti·mat·ed, un·der·es·ti·mat·ing.
  1. to make an estimate lower than that which would be correct.
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noun
  1. an estimate that is too low.
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Origin of underestimate

First recorded in 1805–15; under- + estimate
Related formsun·der·es·ti·ma·tion, noun

Synonyms

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1. undervalue, underrate, misjudge, miscalculate.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for underestimate

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • It would be for most people, but I think you underestimate your cheek, as you call it.

  • You underestimate your favors, if you fancy they are easily forgotten!

    The Strollers

    Frederic S. Isham

  • Oh, not that I underestimate the home women or the sheltered women.

    The Gorgeous Girl

    Nalbro Bartley

  • It is obvious that at about that time everybody was inclined to underestimate his chances.

    Lord Jim

    Joseph Conrad

  • Bidwell did not underestimate his importance in this rush of gold-frenzied men.


British Dictionary definitions for underestimate

underestimate

verb (tr)
  1. to make too low an estimate ofhe underestimated the cost
  2. to think insufficiently highly ofto underestimate a person
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noun (ˌʌndərˈɛstɪmɪt)
  1. too low an estimate
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Derived Formsunderestimation, noun

usage

Underestimate is sometimes wrongly used where overestimate is meant: the importance of his work cannot be overestimated (not cannot be underestimated)
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for underestimate

v.

1812, "to estimate at too low an amount," from under + estimate (v.). Meaning "to rank too low, undervalue" is recorded from 1850. Related: Underestimated; underestimating.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper