[ verb uhn-der-es-tuh-meyt; noun uhn-der-es-tuh-mit, -meyt ]
/ verb ˌʌn dərˈɛs təˌmeɪt; noun ˌʌn dərˈɛs tə mɪt, -ˌmeɪt /

verb (used with object), un·der·es·ti·mat·ed, un·der·es·ti·mat·ing.

to estimate at too low a value, rate, or the like.

verb (used without object), un·der·es·ti·mat·ed, un·der·es·ti·mat·ing.

to make an estimate lower than that which would be correct.


an estimate that is too low.

Origin of underestimate

First recorded in 1805–15; under- + estimate

Related forms

un·der·es·ti·ma·tion, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for underestimate

British Dictionary definitions for underestimate


/ (ˌʌndərˈɛstɪˌmeɪt) /

verb (tr)

to make too low an estimate ofhe underestimated the cost
to think insufficiently highly ofto underestimate a person

noun (ˌʌndərˈɛstɪmɪt)

too low an estimate

Derived Forms

underestimation, noun


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