Definition of understate in English:


See synonyms for understate

Translate understate into Spanish

transitive verb

[with object]
  • Describe or represent (something) as being smaller, worse, or less important than it actually is.

    ‘the press has understated the extent of the problem’
    • ‘That bland description understates the drama and stakes of the investigation.’
    • ‘Not only is there little sign of a cooling of this demand, but there is also a concern that the trade figures - awful as they are - may even be understating the volume of manufactured imports.’
    • ‘To describe e-mail as an enabling technology greatly understates its influence.’
    • ‘To say we are disappointed would be understating it.’
    • ‘I've used these kinds of distancing techniques myself - writers often do when they want to highlight the horror of a situation by understating the actual details.’
    • ‘Even so, he's not one for understating his ambitions, once again setting out his goal to create a ‘world-class business’.’
    • ‘Commentators who say that the political landscape changed dramatically in the past year are grossly understating the true state of affairs.’
    • ‘To say he was delighted with it is understating the case.’
    • ‘To say I'm suffering from a combination of culture shock and stomach churning homesickness would be understating it.’
    • ‘If anything that is rather understating the case - I have been overwhelmed by what I have seen and heard.’
    • ‘To say this property needs renovation may be understating the case.’
    • ‘No, that would be grossly understating the hopelessness of his present situation.’
    play down, downplay, make light of, underrate, rate too low, not do justice to, do an injustice to, underplay, de-emphasize, underemphasize, trivialize, minimize, diminish, downgrade, reduce, lessen, brush aside, gloss over, shrug off
    View synonyms



/ˌəndərˈstāt/ /ˌəndərˈsteɪt/