If you understate something, you describe it in a way that suggests that it is less important or serious than it really is. The government chooses deliberately to understate the increase in prices overstate, exaggerate. to describe something in a way that makes it seem less important or serious than it really is overstate
If you describe a style, colour, or effect as understated, you mean that it is not obvious. I have always liked understated clothes -- simple shapes which take a lot of hard work to get right. his typically understated humour. = subtle. an understated style is one that is attractive because it is simple and does not have too many decorations = subtle
The opposite of hyperbole, understatement (or litotes) refers to a figure of speech that says less than is intended Understatement usually has an ironic effect, and sometimes may be used for comic purposes, as in Mark Twains statement, "The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated " See also hyperbole, irony
Understatement is the practice of suggesting that things have much less of a particular quality than they really have. He informed us with massive understatement that he was feeling disappointed. typical British understatement
If you say that a statement is an understatement, you mean that it does not fully express the extent to which something is true. To say I'm disappointed is an understatement He was getting very hard to live with, and that's the understatement of the year
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