Figures of Speech IloveIndia
Understatement is a literary device in which the situation is made to seem less serious than what it really is. Go through the examples of understatement to get a better understanding of it.

Understatement Examples

Understatement is a figure of speech in which there is a contrast between the description and reality. As such, understatement can be used to reflect modesty, sarcasm, derogatory or complimentary tone. Understatement literally refers to what is not being said. In short, the gravity of the statement is undervalued. Consider this example. In David Edding's 'The Tamuli', Emperor Sarabian refers to a hurricane as "a light breeze", the loss of half his fleet as "a minor inconvenience", the imminent collapse of his empire as "some civil unrest." The Tamulis, according to the novel, have a tendency towards extreme politeness, which makes them understate every serious thing so as not to offend. The meaning of the understatement changes according to the context. Understatement is an important rhetorical device that is just the opposite of hyperbole. In hyperbole, everything is overblown, while in understatement the strength of the statement is considerably lessened. The examples given below will help you to understand understatement in its proper context.

Examples Of Understatement
In Literature
In Films
Understatement is used when the writer or speaker wants to show politeness or modesty. It is also an excellent tool for sarcasm. By expressing something I a way that is lesser than the gravity of the situation demands is an understatement.