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[adjective uhn-der-weyt; noun uhn-der-weyt] /adjective ˈʌn dərˈweɪt; noun ˈʌn dərˌweɪt/
weighing less than is usual, required, or proper.
deficiency in weight below a standard or requirement.
Origin of underweight
First recorded in 1590-1600; under- + weight Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for underweight
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • They could as easily have charged you overweight as underweight.

    Uncle Sam Detective William Atherton Du Puy
  • The baby of a German housewife was underweight—that is, below normal.

    A Stake in the Land Peter Alexander Speek
  • They are the people who are overweight and the people who are underweight.

    Psychotherapy James J. Walsh
  • Blind abscesses at the roots will cause all sorts of aches and pains, as well as underweight.

    Diet and Health Lulu Hunt Peters
  • underweight individuals sometimes have to train their digestive tracts for some of the foods they need.

    Diet and Health Lulu Hunt Peters
  • underweight and overweight are both abnormal conditions; probably the latter is the more easily remedied.

British Dictionary definitions for underweight


weighing less than is average, expected, or healthy
  1. having a lower proportion of one's investments in a particular sector of the market than the size of that sector relative to the total market would suggest
  2. (of a fund etc) disproportionately invested in this way: pension funds have become underweight of equities
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
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Word Origin and History for underweight

1899, from under- + weight.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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underweight in Medicine

underweight un·der·weight (ŭn'dər-wāt')
Weighing less than is normal, healthy, or required. n.
Insufficiency of weight.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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