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understate

[uhn-der-steyt] /ˌʌn dərˈsteɪt/
verb (used with object), understated, understating.
1.
to state or represent less strongly or strikingly than the facts would bear out; set forth in restrained, moderate, or weak terms:
The casualty lists understate the extent of the disaster.
Origin
1815-1825
1815-25; under- + state
Related forms
understatement
[uhn-der-steyt-muh nt, uhn-der-steyt-] /ˌʌn dərˈsteɪt mənt, ˈʌn dərˌsteɪt-/ (Show IPA),
noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for understate
  • And, quite frankly, much of the problem is that they tend to use it in a way that they either overstate it or understate it.
  • Many of them misinterpret the economic models, which understate the degree to which biofuels drive up prices.
  • However, it is not helpful to overstate the vulnerability or understate the reliability of our present electric power system.
  • All of these figures understate the magnitude of the jobs crisis.
  • These figures may actually understate the value of copyright.
  • Yes it is important not to overstate causal factors, and it's equally important not to understate causal factors.
  • But the skeptics who say this is a step on the way to universal health care actually understate the case.
  • In fact, the income differentials understate the chasm between college and high school grads.
  • The number may understate activity somewhat, as many factories have turned to temporary workers.
  • Yet even these figures understate the change that is taking place.
British Dictionary definitions for understate

understate

/ˌʌndəˈsteɪt/
verb
1.
to state (something) in restrained terms, often to obtain an ironic effect
2.
to state that (something, such as a number) is less than it is
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
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Word Origin and History for understate
v.

1824, from under + state (v.). Related: Understated (of fashions, etc., from 1957); understating.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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