English

Definition of understate verb from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary

 

understate

 verb
verb
BrE BrE//ˌʌndəˈsteɪt//
 
; NAmE NAmE//ˌʌndərˈsteɪt//
 
Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they understate
BrE BrE//ˌʌndəˈsteɪt//
 
; NAmE NAmE//ˌʌndərˈsteɪt//
 
he / she / it understates
BrE BrE//ˌʌndəˈsteɪts//
 
; NAmE NAmE//ˌʌndərˈsteɪts//
 
past simple understated
BrE BrE//ˌʌndəˈsteɪtɪd//
 
; NAmE NAmE//ˌʌndərˈsteɪtɪd//
 
past participle understated
BrE BrE//ˌʌndəˈsteɪtɪd//
 
; NAmE NAmE//ˌʌndərˈsteɪtɪd//
 
-ing form understating
BrE BrE//ˌʌndəˈsteɪtɪŋ//
 
; NAmE NAmE//ˌʌndərˈsteɪtɪŋ//
 
 
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understate something to state that something is smaller, less important or less serious than it really is It would be a mistake to understate the seriousness of the problem. The figures probably understate the real unemployment rate. To say that the reviews were mixed is to understate the case—the cons far outweighed the pros. opposite overstate
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: understate