Try Our Apps
Dictionary.com

follow Dictionary.com

The Best Internet Slang

understate

[uhn-der-steyt] /ˌʌn dərˈsteɪt/
verb (used with object), understated, understating.
1.
to state or represent less strongly or strikingly than the facts would bear out; set forth in restrained, moderate, or weak terms:
The casualty lists understate the extent of the disaster.
Origin of understate
1815-1825
First recorded in 1815-25; under- + state
Related forms
understatement
[uhn-der-steyt-muh nt, uhn-der-steyt-] /ˌʌn dərˈsteɪt mənt, ˈʌn dərˌsteɪt-/ (Show IPA),
noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for understate
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • To say that Ailie was delighted, would be to understate the fact very much.

    The Red Eric R.M. Ballantyne
  • To say that they were dishes for a king is to understate the fact.

    Allied Cookery

    Grace Glergue Harrison and Gertrude Clergue
  • The effect of this will be to understate my argument rather than the contrary.

    A Revision of the Treaty John Maynard Keynes
  • I have been careful rather to understate than exaggerate the case.

    'I Believe' and other essays Cyril Arthur Edward Ranger Gull
  • To say it blew with the force of ten thousand devils is to understate the case.

  • To say that he ill-used her in his lifetime is to understate a truth.

    Two on a Tower Thomas Hardy
British Dictionary definitions for understate

understate

/ˌʌndəˈsteɪt/
verb
1.
to state (something) in restrained terms, often to obtain an ironic effect
2.
to state that (something, such as a number) is less than it is
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for understate
v.

1824, from under + state (v.). Related: Understated (of fashions, etc., from 1957); understating.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for understate

Some English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for understate

11
13
Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for understate