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OTHER WORDS FROM undernourishedun·der·nour·ish·ment, noun
Words nearby undernourished
What does undernourished mean?
Undernourished is an adjective that means not provided with enough food or nutrients to grow and develop in a healthy way.
It comes from the past tense of the verb undernourish, meaning to fail to provide (or intentionally withhold) enough food or nutrients.
The verb nourish means to promote healthy growth—to provide enough of what’s needed for someone or something to be healthy and to grow and develop. Nourish is most commonly used in relation to food, but can be used in figurative ways that don’t involve food: education nourishes our minds; a vacation can nourish our spirit.
Undernourish and undernourished can also be used in these figurative ways, but both are usually used in the context of nutrition, especially in relation to children who are not provided with enough nourishing food. The adjective malnourished is similar but is often used in more extreme cases involving malnutrition.
It’s also possible to use undernourished in the context of other living things that require nutrients, such as plants.
Example: If we fail to provide healthy lunches that are available to all children, we will end up with a lot of undernourished students.
Where does undernourished come from?
The first records of the adjective undernourished come from the early 1900s. The word nourish comes from the Latin verb nūtrīre, meaning “to feed” or “to care for.” The words nurture, nutrition, nutritious, and nurse are based on the same root. In undernourish, the prefix under- indicates insufficiency. It’s used the same way in the synonym underfed.
Describing someone as undernourished most commonly means that they have not been provided with enough nutrients. Describing someone as malnourished can mean this, but it can also mean their diet is unhealthy overall, perhaps due to having too much unhealthy food or to having a digestive disorder. Still, the words are often used in overlapping ways.
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How is undernourished used in real life?
Undernourished is most commonly used in contexts involving people who do not have access to enough healthy food.
Nearly 690 million people – or 8.9% of the 🌍 world’s population – are undernourished, warns @FAOstatistics. Read about how trade policy can help achieve #ZeroHunger, an article by @Hepburn_JC & @georgiosmermig1 on @IISD_SDGs https://t.co/S0GFd97Vyd
— UNDP SDG Integration (@SDGintegration) November 9, 2020
"Leaders of both parties need to recognize the strong connection between poor dietary patterns and the nation’s worsening health — a function of the majority of Americans being both overfed with unhealthy foods and undernourished with healthier ones." https://t.co/DCnCffzgoe
— STAT (@statnews) November 7, 2020
Africa's warming climate is impacting agriculture, and the number of undernourished people has increased, according to a new report https://t.co/AzSpQkgc9D
— Bloomberg Green (@climate) November 6, 2020
Try using undernourished!
Is undernourished used correctly in the following sentence?
Cutting calories just to chase some unattainable beauty goal will leave you undernourished and unhealthy.
Example sentences from the Web for undernourished
Nevertheless, that proportion has since held fairly steady, and the absolute number of undernourished people has been rising.
“He was undernourished, not necessarily malnourished,” she said.
Many countries were devastated, undernourished and stripped bare of food and agricultural equipment because of enemy occupation.
Under such conditions many voles appear to be undernourished, and some are actually emaciated.
In their wan faces, in their undernourished bodies, would be indelibly written the bitter defeat of their parents.The Pivot of Civilization|Margaret Sanger
The undernourished proletariat lacked the initiative to go out where the food came from.Greener Than You Think|Ward Moore
By the way, she was so skinny to this time and so undernourished; look as skinny as she could be and she did not feel good.Warren Commission (8 of 26): Hearings Vol. VIII (of 15)|The President's Commission on the Assassination of President Kennedy