underwhelm

[uhn-der-hwelm, -welm]
See more synonyms for underwhelm on Thesaurus.com
verb (used with object) Informal.
  1. to fail to interest or astonish: After all the ballyhoo, most critics were underwhelmed by the movie.

Origin of underwhelm

First recorded in 1945–50; under- + (over)whelm
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for underwhelm

disappoint, baffle, balk, confound, dismay, displease, lower, depress, disenchant

British Dictionary definitions for underwhelm

underwhelm

verb
  1. (tr) to make no positive impact or impression on; disappoint

Word Origin for underwhelm

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
v.

1953 (implied in underwhelming), a facetious play on overwhelm. Related: Underwhelmed; underwhelmingly.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper