- to fail to interest or astonish: After all the ballyhoo, most critics were underwhelmed by the movie.
Origin of underwhelm
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
- (tr) to make no positive impact or impression on; disappoint
C20: originally a humorous coinage based on overwhelm
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 underwhelm
1953 (implied in underwhelming), a facetious play on overwhelm. Related: Underwhelmed; underwhelmingly.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper