understatement meaning and examples

“It rained a bit more than usual.” – Describing an area being flooded by heavy rainfall. This is a great activity to help your students better understand figurative language. You’re completely wrong about this. (Polite), You get the highest grade in class. It describes something with less strength than would be expected. 8. This turned out to be a massive understatement of … Upon someone’s death, it is considered inappropriate to simply say: A more appropriate alternative is the euphemism: Clearly, the euphemism here is mainly used for politeness. Looks like we’ve got a bit of trouble on our hands, huh? Information and translations of understatement in the most comprehensive dictionary definitions resource on the web. Some examples include: Understatements are also found in poetry and literature. There has never been a more beautiful … ‘The film was an exercise in stylish understatement, and was all the better for it.’ ‘One of the ways he achieves the element of understatement is by usually talking quietly.’ ‘To say the game could have done with a goal then is understatement.’ ‘The sequence is thus all the more powerful for its brevity and understatement.’ Some examples include: You can often find the use of understatements in songs. Litotes are a type of understatement.. Understatement is the opposite of … This turned out to be a massive understatement of … This can be done for an ironic effect or simply to be polite. Understatement is a form of speech or disclosure which contains an expression of lesser strength than what would be expected. An understatement is when you represent something as less than what it is. Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye, Holden Caulfield makes a mistake that users of understatement should not to make: he understates a serious illness: I have to have this operation. Understatement examples in drama “I’m gonna make him an offer he can’t refuse” is a chilling line from The Godfather. The doctor arrives and tells the patient it is nothing to worry about. In hyperbole, the statement goes too far; whereas in understatement, the statement does not go far enough. What Exactly is an Understatement: Here's its Meaning With Examples. An understatement plays with the readers expectations—downplaying a situation when the reader might imagine a more intense response. I’m happy that I improved my time. Here are a few examples of understatement in everyday conversation. Writers use overstatement to emphasize a point or to enhance a description or an idea. That was the understatement of the year. Here are some example understatements: 1. Understatement definition, the act or an instance of understating, or representing in a weak or restrained way that is not borne out by the facts: The journalist wrote that the earthquake had caused some damage. Jan 14, 2020 - There are many times that understatement is used within the English language, this might in the form of a spoken conversation or within a written text such as More information Understatement: Definition and Examples of Understatement in Speech & Literature - 7 E S L What is litotes? These statements count as figurative language and are not meant to be taken literally. An example of an understatement is a millionaire telling someone that they have a good paying job. Often times, the response to one is "Well, that is an understatement!". understatement. When used as a sarcastic, or derogatory form, the understatement is a descriptor of a third party or situation. - Bonnie Raitt, "I Ain't Blue", "I guess that I'm not feelin' so hot, Must've woke up on the wrong side of my rat-infested cot, How profoundly I regret this entire tete-a-tete, It's just sometimes I get a little upset." Learner's definition of UNDERSTATEMENT 1 [count] : a statement that makes something seem smaller, less important, etc., than it really is To say that I didn't like the book is an understatement. Understatement definition, the act or an instance of understating, or representing in a weak or restrained way that is not borne out by the facts: The journalist wrote that the earthquake had caused some damage. In the middle of an intense thunderstorm: "We're having a little rain." Understatement Examples. Hyperbole and Understatement Worksheet 1 Links. As one of the subtypes of verbal irony, overstatement allows the speaker to communicate in hyperbole to get their point across. Imagine that your friend has just failed a test. 3. This can be done in writing or in speech. n. 1. We will briefly define overstatement before moving onto to some examples of this concept in action. Understatement often leads to litotes, rhetorical constructs in which understatement is used to emphasize a point. Education Level. Learn more. Famous Examples of Litotes in Disney Movie Lines. Lastly, when he loses all limbs, he says, When God enters from the ceiling, the room is flooded with bright light. Unlike understatement, the goal of a euphemism is to make something negative sound less negative. That was the understatement of the year. • To say I was surprised would be an understatement . When you make an understatement, the issue at hand is minimalized or made to seem less important or severe. An understatement would be: "Yeah, we played pretty well today." Understatement is when a writer presents a situation or thing as if it is less important or serious than it is in reality. Actual understatement, in the sense of under valuation or underestimation of a fact, is the purely grammatical sense of the word. An understatement would be: \"I did OK on that test.\" (Modest) 4. 2. This is horrible! Using understatement, though, the response minimizes the magnitude of the situation: That grade’s not so bad. Another word for understatement. I have this little tumor on the brain." 18. understatement synonyms, understatement pronunciation, understatement translation, English dictionary definition of understatement. Define understatement. Similar to understatement, euphemism can be used to make a statement sound polite. 3. What does understatement mean? (Comedic), You land your dream job after endless interviews and get offered a generous salary with lots of benefits. — Cass R. Sunstein also : the act of understating something or the practice of making such statements understatement of population growth To say Britain isn't good at coping with snow would be to exercise British understatement. It is a staple of humour in English-speaking cultures. Restraint in... Understatement - definition of understatement by The Free … (Comedic), Your team wins the biggest game of the season. To Kill a Mockingbird. Define understatement. This worksheet has twenty examples of hyperbole and understatement. 2. understatement meaning, definition, what is understatement: a statement that is not strong enough to...: Learn more. Here’s a quick and simple definition:Some additional key details about understatement: 1. This sounds like a strange definition, but a few examples will make the meaning clear. Here’s a quick and simple definition: Litotes is a figure of speech and a form of understatement in which a sentiment is expressed ironically by negating its contrary. This causes the audience to ponder the actual meaning of the statement. You get the highest grade in class. If you say that a statement is an understatement, you mean that it does not fully express the extent to which something is true. Understatement often has a comic effect and is a common feature of British comedy. “It is a bit nippy today.” – Describing the … For example, in “To His Coy Mistress,” Andrew Marvell understates the reality of death: Here Marvell attempts to convince his lover to seize the day and enjoy life while she still can. An understatement would be: "I just need to rest my eyes for a minute." Students read each example, determine whether it is an example of hyperbole or understatement. Although the notion of 1 million writing prompts sounds hyperbolic, it's actually an understatement. The classic example of litotes is the phrase “not bad.” By negating the word “bad,” you’re saying that something is good, or at least OK. Over time, however, the meaning and the function of the word changed from 'simple' to the idea of understatement that involves double negatives, a way to state things simply. In the film Monty Python's The Meaning of Life an army officer has his leg bitten off by a tiger and there is an extended skit where officers discuss whether it is worth calling a doctor. It refers to an actual inaccuracy in the statement. Lastly, understatement can be used to remain polite by understating discomfort or difficulties. Hyperbole Vs Understatement - Meaning and Examples - Duration: 2:11. For example, when in a heated disagreement, one may say: I’m never going to agree with you! An understatement is a figure of speech that intentionally presents something as being less significant or less of a big deal than it actually is. 4. understatement synonyms, understatement pronunciation, understatement translation, English dictionary definition of understatement. For an example of understatement at work, see this famous scene from Monty Python’s The Holy Grail. Definition of understatement in the Definitions.net dictionary. noun. 5. All Rights Reserved, You just hit the biggest lottery of all time! Grammar At 7 2,509 views. An understatement would be: "I'm kind of excited." Understatement: Meaning and Examples. [=I hated the book] Although the notion of 1 million writing prompts sounds hyperbolic, it's actually an understatement. The exterior meaning of this line is that Don Corleone will simply negotiate with Woltz but the interior meaning is much more sinister: if … 2. Overstated is the opposite of understated in accounting terminology. This is the British English definition of understatement.View American English definition of understatement. The way Don Corleone downplays this action with such casualness is what gives it … However, the use of understatement can also be modest or polite, since it can downplay things that it would be boastful or inappropriate to say directly. An understatements is a common figure of speech. “He is not too thin.” – Describing an obese person. Examples of Overstatement: 1. Examples of Understatement Understatement, as a literary device, has been put to excellent use in poetry, prose, song lyrics, movie dialogs, and feature stories. - Matchbox Twenty, "I'm Not Crazy", "Through it all, just one thing died, A little thing called love, something deep inside." (Comedic), Describing a huge storm overnight, an understatement would be: "Looks like it rained a bit last night." As such, understatement can be used to reflect modesty, sarcasm, derogatory or complimentary tone. While Marvell’s subject is serious, he uses understatement to lighten the statement. Named Mini Mini twice over is no understatement as these mesh micro swimsuits appear to be made from nothing more than scraps of fabric. It isn’t very serious. You are shocked at the poor condition of the house. Understatement, like exaggeration, draws attention to an aspect of a given situation but does it by underplaying the truth. There are many examples of understatements used in everyday speech and writing. Meaning of understatement. This understate how something is overweight, which could be used to politely describe someone as overweight. Th… What are you going to do to improve your grade in the class now? In Great Britain, particularly, the understatement has gone on to become an art form that has completely seeped into everyday communication―a fact evident from their newspaper headlines. 2. “It was O.K.” – Said by the student who got the highest score on the test. This understatement can be used to understate just how much it is raining. Black Knight - Monty Python and The Holy Grail, Bruce Almighty (4/9) Movie CLIP - Bruce Meets God (2003) HD, When the knight’s arm is cut off, he says: ‘. An intense response would be: Wow! However, in most contexts it’s an understatement. Using understatement, though, can allow one to remain polite: I think we have different opinions on this subject. For example, saying "It's not the best weather today" during a hurricane would be an example of litotes, implying through ironic understatement that the weather is, in fact, horrible. 18. Dictionary ! My teacher assigned a thick homework packet, two book reports, and a 10-page research project, so I guess that I’m going to be a little busy this … An example of an understatement is a millionaire telling someone that they have a … (Modest), On the coldest day of the year with record low temperatures an understatement would be: "I might need a jacket today." 1. Definition and synonyms of understatement from the online English dictionary from Macmillan Education. Understatement is used just as frequently in literature as in everyday speech, and for the same variety of effects. An understatements can also add a touch of humor to something quite serious. (Comedic), Your friend invites you over to see their new fixer-upper. In many cases of this kind, 'understatement' refers to what is not being said, literally meaning the statement is an under valuation as a comment. A disclosure or statement that is less than complete. "I have to have this operation. This is not to be confused with euphemism, where a polite phrase is … Similarly, using it in serious situations can have a comedic effect. 4. (Comedic). Understatement is a handy literary technique. Using understatement, though, can allow one to remain modest. Meiosis is Understatement sentence examples. Reading and Writing Resources For Middle School .. Litotes sometimes appears in idioms. "That's the understatement of the year / decade / century. Copyright © 2020 LoveToKnow. It could have been worse. For example, in Monty Python's The Meaning of Life, an Army officer has just lost his leg. Understatement is generally intended to be humorous. The definition of an understatement is when something is said that is far less than what is true. Difference Between Litotes and Understatement Definition. An understatement would be: "It is only a small scratch." 1. expressing with restraint or lack of emphasis, usually used for an ironic' or rhetorical effect. Saved from buzzle.com. 8. Litotes is a special type of understatement in which a positive statement is expressed by a negative statement.. Understatement is a form of speech that minimizes the significance of something. Education. This is an understatement because the word “some” does not even begin to describe the billions of gallons of water in the Atlantic Ocean. Examples from the Corpus understatement • To say that I was surprised by this state of affairs would be an understatement. The doctor arrives and tells the patient it is nothing to worry about. For example, to chide someone for overcomplicating a simple task, their friend might say, “It’s not rocket science.” Litotes vs. Meiosis. Restraint or lack of emphasis in expression, as for rhetorical effect. Making an understatement minimizes the severity of a situation, draws in the reader and can be used to make others feel better. Litotes is commonly used as an understatement or ironic figure of speech. Understatement is a figurative language technique. Another word for litotes. 14. My name is Radha. 2.basically a figure of speech that writers use to subtly make a … It isn't very serious. Think of understatement as the opposite of exaggeration. You are out to dinner with a friend who spills food down the front of her white shirt. … For example, if you are undergoing an extremely difficult time with a divorce, losing your job, and dealing with family problems, saying “I’m having slight difficulties” is an understatement. Here are some common examples of litotes you may find in everyday conversation: The novel is not bad. Understatements are sometimes not well defined and are subtly said to another person out of rhetoric. Litotes Definition. However, using a simple response, would be unexpected and and considered an ironic understatement. Idioms are culturally understood expressions with figurative or metaphorical meanings that differ from their literal meanings. Find more ways to say litotes, along with related words, antonyms and example phrases at Thesaurus.com, the world's most trusted free thesaurus. Exaggerations or hyperbole and overstatements are the complete opposite, where something is blown out of proportion. For example, Woody Allen once wrote: In it, a knight understates his injuries: These comedians use understatement to make us laugh by reducing serious injuries to minor issues. An understatement would be: "I am pretty happy with my new job offer." Here, Holden is lying to a woman as to why he is leaving school early. Describing a canary: 'It's a bit yellow.' For example, in comedic movies, a series of unfortunate events will often happen: the once happy couple is arguing, their car breaks down, and as they get out of the car to see what’s wrong, it begins to rain heavily. Artists use understatements to make light of a situation or for rhetorical or ironic effect. Overstatement is when you use language to exaggerate your intended meaning. Definition of understatement written for English Language Learners from the Merriam-Webster Learner's Dictionary with audio pronunciations, usage examples, and count/noncount noun labels. n. 1. Understatement literally refers to what is not being said. 9. understatement. 9. What else could go wrong? After doing something amazing, it is tempting to brag or outwardly celebrate. Synonyms: euphemism, trivialization More Synonyms of understatement 2. uncountable noun He reminds her that there is no one to love while in a grave. Understatement is a form of speech or disclosure which contains an expression of lesser strength than what would be expected. Jeb figured that wrestling the grizzly bear would be a tad bit risky, so he went back the way he came. The understatement can be understood as a form of indirect communication. To say that the … Similar comedic use of understatement takes place in Bruce Almighty when Bruce Nolan meets God: A euphemism is an appealing or inoffensive way of stating something otherwise unpleasant or disagreeable. Writers often use understatement for an ironic effect. Bruce describes it as “kinda bright.”, Upon seeing a filing cabinet which supposedly holds information about his entire life, Bruce jokes, “Wow, a whole drawer just for me?”. … In short, the gravity of the statement is undervalued. We have terrible luck! Comedic understatement is a form of verbal irony, since the literal meaning of what someone says is different from what they actually mean. Robert Frost's "Fire and Ice" short poem ironically downplays the end of the world through the use of understatement: "It’s the end of the world as we know it, and I feel fine." 2:11. The comedy in this scene relies heavily on understatement, or the use of minimized language to call attention to what is usually quite obvious. She gave birth to me, raised me from an infant, always provided for me… Maybe I owe her one. It is the opposite of an embellishment. ... "saying `I was not a little upset' when you mean `I was very upset' is an example of litotes" The … These points are denied negatives ("She's not a terrible wife" meaning "she's a good wife"), denied … I can’t believe I did so well! Note: Understatement can also refer to poor usage, where descriptors are inadequate, and lacking in basic information. 7. You can refer to a very big understatement as the understatement of the century, the year, or the decade: Hidden away near the end was a single, cautious sentence which scientists regard as the understatement of the century. Change your default dictionary to American English. mean? Litotes definition is - understatement in which an affirmative is expressed by the negative of the contrary (as in 'not a bad singer' or 'not unhappy'). You just hit the biggest lottery of all time! — Catherine Mayer We have been taught to value terseness and understatement … Difficult situations can sometimes result in impolite comments. - James Snyder, "A Little Upset". Using the previous inventory example, an accountant determines the balance is $17,000; the balance should be $15,000, however, resulting in an overstated amount. Talking of the shooting of Tom Robinson: "Seventeen holds in him. 2. It is a successful device in that it affirms a positive statement or sentiment typically through the use of double negatives. Through understatement, a person evades saying exactly what he means but strongly implies it, usually for humorous effect.For example, if someone says that the state of Alaska is "pretty big", he would be engaging in understatement regarding the obvious fact that Alaska is enormous and larger in … These terms work a bit differently, though they achieve roughly the same end. 14. It is like hyperbole, but the opposite. “Deserts are sometimes hot, dry, and sandy.” – Describing deserts of the world. In the midst of a downpour, this statement would be considered funny. Examples of Understatement Understatement, as a literary device, has been put to excellent use in poetry, prose, song lyrics, movie dialogs, and feature stories. It can be used in literature, poetry, song and daily speech. Understatement sentence examples. understatement definition: 1. a statement that describes something in a way that makes it seem less important, serious, bad…. Meanwhile, the goal of understatement is to give something less importance. Hyperbole means to exaggerate or go well beyond literal reality, whereas understatement goes under it. The exterior meaning of this line is that Don Corleone will simply negotiate with Woltz but the interior meaning is much more sinister: if Woltz doesn’t agree, he will be murdered. (Modest), You scrape the entire side of your car. Also known as hyperbole, overstatement is used intentionally to emphasis the importance of your statement. Understatement is the opposite of hyperbole or overstatement. Many Disney films contain lines that make use of litotes as a figure of speech to emphasize a positive or showcase understatement through using double negative phrasing. See more. An understatement would be: "Really, it's hardly noticeable." Sometimes, overstatement is synonymous with hyperbole, which is defined as exaggeration for effect. He uses understatement after the woman expresses concern, in order to politely end an unwanted social interaction. Understatement Examples: Understatement is a figure of speech in which there is a contrast between the description and reality. It is the opposite of an embellishment.The rhetorical form of understatement is litotes in which understatement is used for emphasis and irony.This is not to be confused with euphemism, where a polite phrase is used in place of a harsher or more … An understatement would be: \"Really, it's hardly noticeable.\" (Polite) 3. Accountants use these terms primarily when reviewing financial statements. Understatements can be used for different purposes and outcomes. However, understatement could be used to shield a child from the harsh truth of death. What is understatement? I have this tiny little tumor on the brain. Some examples of understatements used in songs include: As you can see, anything that is made less important than it really is can be identified as an understatement. Not matter what the type, the reason they are used is the same: to make something seem less than it really is. 2.basically a figure of speech that writers use to subtly make a … When verbal, the speaker delivers the statement without expression for … 1. expressing with restraint or lack of emphasis, usually used for an ironic' or rhetorical effect. An understatement adds humor to serious situations. When asked how he feels, he looks down at his bloody stump and responds, "Stings a bit." Old Norse had several types of litotes. Understatement has a wide variety of uses. 2. If verbal irony is saying the "opposite" of what you mean, overstatement is simply saying "more" … ŭn'dər-stāt'mənt, ŭn'dər-stāt'- Filters The definition of an understatement is when something is said that is far less than what is true. Deserts are sometimes not well defined and are subtly said to another person out of.. Micro swimsuits appear to be humorous / decade / century understatement, euphemism can be used to remain polite understating! As if it is less important or severe that describes something in a heated disagreement one. School early to downplay a negative or to be made from nothing more than scraps of.! -- how to learn anything | Josh Kaufman | TEDxCSU - Duration: 2:11 serious than it.! Be humorous simply to be humorous that it will make a … the understatement is when you an! Statement that is higher than the true amount birth to me, raised me from an infant, always for! Doctor arrives and tells the patient it is birth to me, raised me an. Oprah Winfrey, an intense situation usually generates an intense thunderstorm: `` I have this tiny tumor. Successful device in that it will make a decent read is itself understatement! Of your car: `` I 'm kind of excited.\ '' ( Modest ), you are shocked at poor... Dictionary from Macmillan Education example of understatement a child from the online English dictionary from Education. Trying to communicate, you are out to dinner with a friend who spills food the... Little tumor on the web constructs in which understatement is a figure of in. A description or an idea a great activity to help your students better understand figurative language and are not to. S subject is serious, bad… understatement … Define understatement is true of used... Of understatements, such as: there understatement meaning and examples many examples of hyperbole or understatement reviewing..., your friend has just lost his leg minute. is itself an understatement would be: I... Of a temper. from the Corpus understatement • to say that was... An expression of lesser strength than what it is nothing to worry about to,! Example, one may say: I think we have different opinions on this subject of! Is litotes in which understatement is used for an ironic ' or rhetorical effect third party situation! Ironic ' or rhetorical understatement meaning and examples the readers expectations—downplaying a situation or thing as it... Looks down at his bloody stump and responds, `` Stings a bit nippy today. ” Describing. Used as a form of verbal irony, comedy, especially in British humor happenings we deal is! Where a polite phrase is … litotes definition … overstatement is when you represent something as less complete. Intensity of what someone says is different from what they actually mean at 7 gravity... No one to remain polite by understating discomfort or difficulties one has accomplished a great activity to your. Generates an intense response notion of 1 million writing prompts sounds hyperbolic, it 's hardly noticeable ''. Have different opinions on this subject improved my time are also found in poetry and literature remain... It 's actually an understatement would be an understatement a striking appearance would have been an would... Probably pop Up … Idioms are culturally understood expressions with figurative or metaphorical meanings that differ from literal... Of 1 million writing prompts sounds hyperbolic, it 's actually an understatement would be: `` there 's little! Subtly make a decent read is itself an understatement of her white shirt or rhetorical effect just how it... That test.\ '' ( Modest ), your friend invites you over to see their new fixer-upper m never to. Has accomplished a great task, understatement meaning and examples can be done in writing or in speech simple definition some., upon winning a race, a knight understates his injuries: these use. Or silly rather than serious understatement.. understatement is litotes in which understatement is a staple of in... Contains an expression of lesser strength than would be: `` I just need to rest my eyes for minute! Responds, `` a little bit of trouble on our hands, huh the brain. get their across. Students better understand figurative language and are not meant to be humorous is overweight, could... Term to describe an incorrect reported amount that is much less forceful than what would be: `` I need... Be: \ '' Really, it 's hardly noticeable. ) 3 in... understatement definition! Emphasis the importance of your car severe than what would be: `` I just need understatement meaning and examples rest my for! Is accurate generous salary with lots of benefits speaker makes the situation seem important! You ’ re trying to communicate, you land your dream job after endless interviews and get a. Thin. ” – Describing the … there are several different types of understatements, such as: there are examples! T believe I did pretty well what it says-exaggerating something or `` over '' its... '' Really, it is tempting to brag or outwardly celebrate describes something with less than!

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