What does understatement mean?

Definitions for understatement
ˌʌn dərˈsteɪt mənt, ˈʌn dərˌsteɪt-un·der·state·ment

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word understatement.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. understatementnoun

    a statement that is restrained in ironic contrast to what might have been said


  1. understatementnoun

    a disclosure or statement that is less than complete

  2. understatementnoun

    restraint or lack of emphasis, especially for ironic effect

  3. Etymology: * under + statement


  1. Understatement

    Understatement is an expression of lesser strength than what the speaker or writer actually means or than what is normally expected. It is the opposite of embellishment or exaggeration, and is used for emphasis, irony, hedging, or humor. A particular form of understatement using negative syntax is called litotes. This is not to be confused with euphemism, where a polite phrase is used in place of a harsher or more offensive expression. Understatement may also be called underexaggeration to denote lesser enthusiasm. Understatement also merges the comic with the ironic, as in Mark Twain’s comment, “The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated.”


  1. understatement

    An understatement is a rhetorical or literary device in which a statement or situation is presented as less important, severe, or significant than it actually is, often for ironic or humorous effect.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Understatementnoun

    the act of understating, or the condition of being understated; that which is understated; a statement below the truth


  1. Understatement

    Understatement is a form of speech which contains an expression of less strength than what would be expected. This is not to be confused with euphemism, where a polite phrase is used in place of a harsher or more offensive expression.

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How to say understatement in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of understatement in Chaldean Numerology is: 3

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of understatement in Pythagorean Numerology is: 8

Examples of understatement in a Sentence

  1. Adam Seth Litwin:

    In the wake of the current spike in COVID hospitalizations, calling the labor market for registered nurses' cutthroat' is an understatement, even if the health care sector can somehow find more beds, it can not just go out and buy more front-line caregivers.

  2. Bill Mahoney:

    To say it was fortunate for him that the biker came by, is an understatement.

  3. Paul Manafort:

    To say I have been humiliated and ashamed would be a gross understatement.

  4. David Parks:

    Surprise is an understatement.

  5. Monica Ruiz:

    I was happy to accept a job opportunity earlier this year from Peloton and the team was lovely to work with, although I'm an actress, I am not quite comfortable being in spotlight and I'm terrible on social media. So to say I was shocked and overwhelmed by the attention this week( especially the negative) is an understatement.

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Translations for understatement

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"understatement." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 21 Jul 2024. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/understatement>.

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