verb (used with object) Informal.
to fail to interest or astonish: After all the ballyhoo, most critics were underwhelmed by the movie.
Overwhelm vs. Underwhelm
Overwhelm vs. Underwhelm. These two might seem like straightforward antonyms, but there are a few differences to keep in mind.
Read more in this article about some frequently asked questions and fun facts related to our definitions.
Origin of underwhelm
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019
(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
1953 (implied in underwhelming), a facetious play on overwhelm. Related: Underwhelmed; underwhelmingly.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper