[verb uhn-der-es-tuh-meyt; noun uhn-der-es-tuh-mit, -meyt]

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 formsun·der·es·ti·ma·tion, noun

Synonyms for underestimate

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for underestimation

Historical Examples of underestimation

British Dictionary definitions for underestimation


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 Formsunderestimation, 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

Word Origin and History for underestimation



1812, "to estimate at too low an amount," from under + estimate (v.). Meaning "to rank too low, undervalue" is recorded from 1850. Related: Underestimated; underestimating.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper