Why was clemency trending last week?


[uhn-der-steyt] /ˌʌn dərˈsteɪt/
verb (used with object), understated, understating.
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 of understate
1815-25; under- + state
Related forms
[uhn-der-steyt-muh nt, uhn-der-steyt-] /ˌʌn dərˈsteɪt mənt, ˈʌn dərˌsteɪt-/ (Show IPA),
noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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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


to state (something) in restrained terms, often to obtain an ironic effect
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

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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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