- the act or an instance of understating, or representing in a weak or restrained way that is not borne out by the facts: The journalist wrote that the earthquake had caused some damage. This turned out to be a massive understatement of the devastation.
Origin of understatement
Examples from the Web for understatement
That may sound like the understatement of the century, and maybe it is.After the Israel Synagogue Massacre: A New Intifada?
November 19, 2014
And considering his massive music-industry thumb print, that “you oughta know” Jack Antonoff is an understatement.The Rise of Jack Antonoff, the Taylor Swift Whisperer
November 14, 2014
To say that the past few years have been a watershed period of improvement for LGBT America is an understatement.Mississippi Is Hell for These Lesbians
August 8, 2014
To say that actress Lee Grant has seen it all would be an understatement.The Unsinkable Lee Grant Sets the Record Straight
July 23, 2014
To say that the aftermath has been messy would be an understatement.What Do Arab Millennials Want?
July 1, 2014
The dryness in his tone was a paragraph of comment on my understatement.Lone Star Planet
Henry Beam Piper and John Joseph McGuire
He had made an understatement when he talked about "those people" dying.Greener Than You Think
Taken literally, however, it was an understatement of the facts and wholly insincere.Penrod
This is what the habit of understatement may bring us down to,—absolute inadequacy.Human Intercourse
Philip Gilbert Hamerton
Many times was an understatement, Latham thought wretchedly.One Purple Hope!
- the act or an instance of stating something in restrained terms, or as less than it is
Word Origin and History for understatement
A form of irony in which something is intentionally represented as less than it is: “Hank Aaron was a pretty good ball player.”