[uhn-der-steyt-muhnt, uhn-der-steyt-]
the act or an instance of understating, or representing in a weak or restrained way that is not borne out by the facts: The journalist wrote that the earthquake had caused some damage. This turned out to be a massive understatement of the devastation.

under- + statement

Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To understatement
World English Dictionary
understatement (ˌʌndəˈsteɪtmənt)
the act or an instance of stating something in restrained terms, or as less than it is

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
Cite This Source
Word Origin & History

1799, from under + statement. Understated, with ref. to clothing, is recorded from 1957.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary

understatement definition

A form of irony in which something is intentionally represented as less than it is: “Hank Aaron was a pretty good ball player.”

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
Cite This Source
Example sentences
It's no understatement to say the entire flower industry depends on that number.
To say these climbs are a challenge might be an understatement.
To say that this article has some issues is a bit of an understatement.
He was accused of hyperbole but seems, rather, to have been guilty of
Related Words
Copyright © 2014 Dictionary.com, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature