[ uhn-der-rey-tid ]
/ ˌʌn dərˈreɪ tɪd /
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rated or evaluated too low; underestimated or undervalued:It’s an accomplished album from an underrated band, and will hopefully get them the recognition they deserve.
the simple past tense and past participle of underrate.
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Origin of underrated

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022


What does underrated mean?

If you call something underrated, it means you think the general opinion about it is lower than it should be.

Underrated is an adjective, but is also the past tense of the verb underrate. It is somewhat more common to call something underrated than to say that people underrate it, but both are used. The opposite of underrated is overrated, which is perhaps more commonly used.

Example: I think Brussels sprouts are an underrated food.

Where does underrated come from?

The first records of the verb underrate come from the 1600s, but for much of its history it was used in a technical sense related to the valuation of property or the estimation of taxes.

It can still be used this way, but as an adjective it is popularly used to express the opinion that the general consensus (the popularly held opinion) about something isn’t as favorable as you think it should be. Just about anything can be described as underrated, but it is often applied to aspects of popular culture. It’s frequently used to describe not things that are generally disliked but things that a lot of people like but don’t love. You might describe an actor as underrated if you think their performances are better than people give them credit for. You might argue that a movie is underrated when you think it’s awesome but other people think it’s just OK. Pro athletes are especially prone to being labeled as overrated or underrated. Sometimes, underrated can be used to refer to literal ratings, as in Critics severely underrated her last album, rating it an average of three stars when it’s clearly worthy of five. Occasionally, underrated is used to describe a thing that is universally loved to emphasize how great it is (and to be funny or ironic), as in I gotta say, pizza is underrated. 

Saying something is underappreciated is similar to saying it’s underrated, but underappreciated can imply that not enough people know about a thing to appreciate it (or fully understand its importance), whereas underrated usually only relates to the existing popular opinion about a thing.

Did you know ... ?

What are some other forms related to underrated?

  • underrate (verb)

What are some synonyms for underrated?

What are some words that share a root or word element with underrated


What are some words that often get used in discussing underrated?

How is underrated used in real life?

Underrated is most often used in lighthearted conversations about pop culture. It’s often used to describe something you’re passionate about and want others to fully appreciate.



Try using underrated!

Which of the following things is most likely to be described as underrated in a nonironic way?

A. desserts
B. ice cream
C. a specific flavor of ice cream

How to use underrated in a sentence