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From under- +‎ live.


underlive (third-person singular simple present underlives, present participle underliving, simple past and past participle underlived)

  1. (transitive) To live under; live beneath (something); to fail to live up to (something).
    • 1684, Thomas Blomer (translator), “Coriolanus” in John Dryden (editor), Plutarch’s Lives, London: J. & R. Tonson and S. Draper, 1749, Volume 2, p. 244,[1]
      Such a Man looks upon Fame, not as a Reward of his present Virtue, but as an Earnest he has given of his future Performances; and is ashamed to underlive the Credit he has won, and not outshine his past illustrious Actions.
    • 1716, Thomas Browne, edited by Samuel Johnson, Christian Morals[2], 2nd edition, London: J. Payne, published 1756, Part I, p. 36:
      They who are merely carried on by the wheel of such inclinations, without the hand and guidance of sovereign reason, are but the automatous part of mankind, rather lived than living, or at least underliving themselves.
    • 1786, “A Set of Resolutions for Old Age” in Andrew Kippis (ed.), The New Annual Register, London: G.G.J. & J. Robinson, Volume 6, p. 233,[3]
      Not to indulge too much in the luxury of the table, nor yet to underlive the constitution.
    • 1912, William R. Scott, chapter 22, in The Americans in Panama[4], New York: Statler, page 256:
      We cannot afford to embark on a policy of paternalism in Latin America because of the damage it would do to us through underliving our basic ideals.
  2. (transitive) To fail to reach (a certain age).
    • 1901, Abstract of “The Duration of Life” by R. C. Brankston, The Charlotte Medical Journal, Volume 18, No. 5, May 1901, p. 425,[5]
      In the course of a few generations we shall have cultivated a vitality which would give us invariably at birth, an expectancy of 130 years, which age would be usual and except for unavoidable accident would never be underlived, but generally exceeded.
    • 1996, Charles M. Washington, Dennis Leaver, chapter 1, in Principles and Practice of Radiation Therapy[6], 4th edition, St. Louis, MO: Elsevier, published 2016, page 14:
      The duration of a person’s life is a mystery, and thousands of cancer patients have outlived or underlived their estimated life expectancy.
  3. (transitive) To live on fewer resources than (someone).
    • 1839, William Hill, chapter 2, in A History of the Rise, Progress, Genius, and Character of American Presbyterianism[7], Washington: City: J. Gideon Jr, page 106:
      Many of that class who live in the country, and have farms, by their industry and frugal way of living, grow rich, for they can underlive the Britons, &c.
    • 1882 March 25, “The Chinese Craze”, in Scientific American, volume 46, number 12, page 177:
      The Chinese go to stay. A few rebuffs do not dishearten them. Knowing their capacity to underlive and undersell their competitors, they are tenacious in the extreme.
    • 1939, Frank Darvall, chapter 1, in The American Political Scene[8], London: Thomas Nelson & Sons, page 26:
      Fear of Japan, resulting from the contrast between the sparsely settled American and the thickly settled Asiatic shores of the Pacific Ocean and from the knowledge that the Asiatic exclusion policy has aroused great Japanese ill-feeling, and jealousy of Chinese and Japanese inhabitants of the U.S.A., resulting from their hard work, thrift, and skill, which enable them to underlive Americans of European origin, are political factors of importance in the Pacific region.
    • 1950, Baker Brownell, The Human Community[9], New York: Harper, Part III, Section 4, p. 64:
      The family farmer, if he is not too deeply in debt, underlives the corporation farmer and survives.
  4. (intransitive) To live on insufficient resources.
    • 1915, Edward Alsworth Ross, “Statement”, in Fourth Report of the Factory Investigating Commission[10], State of New York, Volume I, Appendix III, p. 634:
      Whole groups of underpaid workers may in consequence of underliving sink into such a condition of inefficiency and hopelessness that they are altogether powerless to extricate themselves from it by their own efforts.
    • 1922, Albert Clay Zumrunnen, chapter 1, in The Community Church[11], University of Chicago Press, page 18:
      It is stated that twenty-five full-time ministers received an average salary of $665.00, clearly an underliving wage.
  5. (intransitive) To live in an overcautious or unfulfilling manner.
    • 2016 April 26, “59% of retirees worry about making retirement savings last: survey”, in Benefits Canada:
      “Making plans based on professional advice can help you avoid overspending or underliving,” said Cottee. “An advisor will support you in making decisions based on fact, not fear, and ensure you have access to all the strategies you need to live an enjoyable and rewarding life in retirement.”