Definition of underweight in English:



Pronunciation /ʌndəˈweɪt/
  • 1Below a weight considered normal or desirable.

    ‘he was thirty pounds underweight’
    • ‘Perhaps your exercise regime is too demanding, since your body mass index (height to weight ratio) suggests you're not underweight.’
    • ‘I was a geeky, scrawny, underweight kid who liked strange music and didn't fit in at all.’
    • ‘Many entertainment celebrities are underweight, some anorexically so.’
    • ‘She has an intense need for control and is scared of gaining weight even when extremely underweight.’
    • ‘Because he's been chronically underweight since before hitting puberty, his body is used to having to survive on unnaturally low weights, but there's a limit to how much it can take.’
    • ‘A BMI under 18.5 indicates that you're underweight.’
    • ‘I assume your daughter is underweight, not just thin.’
    • ‘A while back my sister made an effort to gain weight; her body mass index indicated that she was underweight.’
    • ‘Whether you are underweight, normally weighted or overweight, your eating solution can become a problem.’
    • ‘‘We will also start a child-weighing exercise because lots of under-five children are underweight,’ said Pastor Bill.’
    • ‘She was still rather underweight at 100 pounds, okay, very underweight, but she ate healthily, exercised a normal amount and gained a ton of self-confidence.’
    • ‘Although being slightly underweight, outwardly Stacey appears to be just like any other 11-year-old.’
    • ‘In addition, research shows that teenage girls, particularly those who are underweight or dieting to lose weight, are not getting enough calcium.’
    • ‘A national poll of more than 2000 men asked whether they considered themselves underweight, normal weight, overweight or obese.’
    • ‘Since then she had been in a re-hab centre and was now considered only slightly underweight.’
    • ‘People who are under-nourished will not be eating enough and be underweight because their diet will not be providing them with enough energy.’
    • ‘I know I shouldn't complain because I can eat what I want and not gain weight, but it's not good being underweight.’
    • ‘Shouldn't a GP investigate why a child is underweight, and share his or her concern with the parents?’
    • ‘On examination, she was underweight (weight 2nd percentile, height 10th percentile).’
    • ‘Higher levels of protein and calories may be needed in underweight horses, but should not be fed to normal or overweight horses.’
    slim, lean, slender, rangy, willowy, svelte, sylphlike, spare, slight
    View synonyms
  • 2Finance
    Having less investment in a particular area than is considered desirable.

    ‘the company is still underweight in Japan’
    • ‘Although it recommended that investors switch to US shares, it still recommends that investors be underweight in US equities.’
    • ‘He is still underweight in technology stocks, which he considers expensive, and prefers traditional old economy businesses such as paper and steel.’
    • ‘Last year we were underweight lodging stocks.’
    • ‘Earnings estimates still have to come down and as a result we are underweight in technology stocks.’
    • ‘We are overweight in economy-sensitive stocks, technology, industrials and financials, and are underweight in utilities and telecoms - stock selection is becoming ever-more critical.’


  • Apply too little weight to.

    ‘we feared the hot-air balloon had been underweighted’
    • ‘The second question posed in this study asked whether groups composed of experienced individuals underweight base rate data.’
    • ‘Diving underweighted can lead to buoyant ascents at the end of the dive, so I am not advocating that everyone knocks a couple of kilos off the next time they dive.’
    • ‘Others target specific stocks that are in an index, overweighting those they think are especially undervalued and underweighting those thought to be too dear.’
    • ‘The first question posed in this research asked whether individual HR managers would underweight base rate data.’
    • ‘Then you would underweight technology stocks?’
    • ‘But in the longer term there are supportive arguments for not aggressively underweighting the sector.’
    • ‘In market parlance, they overweight the most recent information and underweight the information that came before.’
    • ‘You might run your car underweight and then chose to put weight in different places.’
    • ‘For such a strategy, an investor makes a forecast on an asset class or sector and overweights or underweights it accordingly.’


mass noun
Pronunciation /ˈʌndəweɪt/
  • Insufficient weight.

    ‘thinness and underweight may be a physical quality that you and I share’
    • ‘They are just disqualified from the show ring because of underweight or overweight.’
    • ‘Childhood undernutrition, defined as underweight or low-weight-for-age, is the leading risk factor contributing to the global burden of disease.’
    • ‘We used these early data together with information collected on cohort members at the age of 50 to explore the effects of childhood obesity and underweight on adult obesity and risk factors for disease.’
    • ‘One in ten parents expressed some concern about underweight in normal weight children.’