"You canker blossom!" 3 Shakespearean Insults


[uhn-der-stey-tid] /ˌʌn dərˈsteɪ tɪd/
restrained in design, presentation, etc.; low-key:
the understated elegance of the house.
Origin of understated
1935-40; understate + -ed2
Related forms
understatedness, noun


[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.
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.
Cite This Source
Examples from the web for understated
  • But he also understated the extent to which that failure doomed the country.
  • His style was understated and he seemed a bit scattered.
  • It's an understated number for an underestimated generation.
  • Lew is more understated, but don't take him for any less stylish.
  • In his understated but sturdy main character he gives us an instance of one of the best who lack all conviction.
  • The dining room is a perfect blend of rustic and modern, understated elegant.
  • But once you get past the riotous red hair, his style is understated.
  • He had been promoted to first lieutenant two days before, but in his typical understated manner kept the news to himself.
  • If anything, the students in his course had understated the magnitude of the problem.
  • After all, rather than overstating they had understated their schooling.
British Dictionary definitions for understated


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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for understated



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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for understated

Few English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for understated

Scrabble Words With Friends