from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • adjective Not striking or obvious, as in style or ornamentation; restrained or subtle.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • adjective Restrained and unpretentious.
  • verb Simple past tense and past participle of understate.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adjective exhibiting restrained good taste


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • I guess the term understated or subdued (SP?) seems to fit.

    Home Theater Forum

  • Like her father, Ms. Cheney speaks in understated, almost academic cadences, head veering down into her notes.

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  • All white buildings facing quiet courtyards, done up in understated faux turn-of-the-century elegance.

    2008 April :

  • All white buildings facing quiet courtyards, done up in understated faux turn-of-the-century elegance.

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  • You and the others who prefer to preach in understated, refined language may look down your noses at me from the Mountain of the Better People; but I caution you: as surely as the economics of wreckage shatters the land of the common people who want for warning, so too does it lay low those who thought it best to call softly and with refined dignity from their higher place.

    Your Right Hand Thief

  • PESCA: And there was Coach Bob Bradley, a man for whom the word understated is an understatement, positively emoting.

    U.S. Advances After Late Goal Against Algeria

  • My post, while intentionally understated, is meant to provoke one to think about the insanity of "sameness" being the purpose of education.

    "No Child Left Behind" Is Nothing New In Albuquerque

  • In the quintessential professionalism of the Yankees 'clubhouse, you hear it, often in understated tones. - Suzuki, Jeter set tones for M's, Yanks By Mike Dodd, USA TODAY By Cheryl Hatch, AP Seattle's Ichiro

  • The simple "tap-to-drop" controls are great, the bevy of play options is superb, and even though the music and presentation may be a ltitle understated, they fit the game perfectly.

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  • Elaine McQuade, who is always elegant, was in understated grey jacket and trousers and I’m afraid that if Kerry Katona was there, I either missed her, or didn’t recognize her.

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