- 1[countable] a statement that makes something seem less important, impressive, serious, etc. than it really is To say we were pleased is an understatement (= we were extremely pleased). “These figures are a bit disappointing.” “That's got to be the understatement of the year.”
- 2 [uncountable] the practice of making things seem less impressive, important, serious, etc. than they really are typical British understatement He always goes for subtlety and understatement in his movies.