Definition of understate in English:

understate

verb

[WITH OBJECT]
  • Describe or represent (something) as being smaller or less good or important than it really is.

    ‘the press have understated the extent of the problem’
    • ‘To describe e-mail as an enabling technology greatly understates its influence.’
    • ‘To say he was delighted with it is understating the case.’
    • ‘To say we are disappointed would be understating it.’
    • ‘To say I'm suffering from a combination of culture shock and stomach churning homesickness would be understating it.’
    • ‘That bland description understates the drama and stakes of the investigation.’
    • ‘Even so, he's not one for understating his ambitions, once again setting out his goal to create a ‘world-class business’.’
    • ‘To say this property needs renovation may be understating the case.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘If anything that is rather understating the case - I have been overwhelmed by what I have seen and heard.’
    • ‘No, that would be grossly understating the hopelessness of his present situation.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Commentators who say that the political landscape changed dramatically in the past year are grossly understating the true state of affairs.’
    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
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Pronunciation

understate

/ʌndəˈsteɪt/