Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • transitive v. To fail to excite, stimulate, or impress: "He is just as entitled to be underwhelmed by the prospect of reigning over a fourth-class nation as the rest of us are by the prospect of living in it” ( Peter Jay).

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To fail to impress; to perform disappointingly.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • transitive v. To interest less than anticipated; to be dull to (a person).

Etymologies

under- + (over)whelm.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

Examples

  • It's a version of what might be called the "underwhelm" phenomenon – when journalists archly declare themselves to be "underwhelmed", as if informing the reader: do you see what I did?

    Have mercy, take pity: The A-Team catchphrase is about to go viral

  • This is one of the first ARM netbooks available, there will be many others, maybe some that will not "underwhelm" the Windose fanbois.

    Microsoft Watch

  • But investors and analysts fear the deal will underwhelm, owing to political differences that have led Europe to scale down the measures' ambition.

    World Watch

  • But investors and analysts fear the deal will underwhelm, owing to political differences that have forced Europe to scale down the measures' ambition.

    European Pact Loses Muscle

  • I have a feeling Iron Man 2 is going to underwhelm.

    New Toy Story 3 Characters Revealed; Final Trailer Tomorrow | /Film

  • "It seems to me that they can only underwhelm or disappoint at this juncture," said Scott Graham , head of the U.S. government trading desk at BMO Capital Markets, one of the 22 primary dealers that trades directly with the Federal Reserve and are obligated to bid at Treasury auctions.

    Jury Out on Treasurys Rally

  • But successful geoeningeering might also encourage industrialized nations to continue to underwhelm on climate policy, because they would be protected from the consequences of their carbon emissions for longer.

    An easy solution to climate change?

  • European leaders meet Friday to debate a package to resolve the euro zone's debt crisis, but investors fear the deal will underwhelm due to political differences that have led Europe to scale down the measures' ambition.

    What's News

  • On a day when the higher-yielding euro was already under pressure from Portugal's mounting economic problems and jitters that European Union leaders would underwhelm markets with a proposal to address the euro-zone's sovereign-debt travails, the news boosted the dollar across the board.

    Dollar Advances On GDP, Fed Talk

  • Now they seem to underwhelm us for some reason; when today's gunwriters list their favorite cartridges they usually forget to mention a 7mm Mag.

    What We Can Learn From Lefty

Wordnik is becoming a not-for-profit! Read our announcement here.

Comments

Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.