Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Medical
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary
1

underhanded

play
adverb un·der·hand·ed \ˌən-dər-ˈhan-dəd\

Definition of underhanded



Circa 1822

First Known Use of underhanded

circa 1822


2

underhanded

adjective un·der·hand·ed

Simple Definition of underhanded

  • : done in a secret and dishonest way : intended to deceive or trick someone

Full Definition of underhanded

  1. :  marked by secrecy, chicanery, and deception :  not honest and aboveboard :  sly <an underhanded attempt to gain power>

un·der·hand·ed·ly adverb
un·der·hand·ed·ness noun

Examples of underhanded

  1. <the commercial is a part of an underhanded PR campaign to whitewash the company's environmental record>

  2. <an underhanded attempt at infiltrating the other party's headquarters>



1853

First Known Use of underhanded

1853

Synonym Discussion of underhanded

secret, covert, stealthy, furtive, clandestine, surreptitious, underhanded mean done without attracting observation. secret implies concealment on any grounds for any motive <met at a secret location>. covert stresses the fact of not being open or declared <covert intelligence operations>. stealthy suggests taking pains to avoid being seen or heard especially in some misdoing <the stealthy step of a burglar>. furtive implies a sly or cautious stealthiness <lovers exchanging furtive glances>. clandestine implies secrecy usually for an evil, illicit, or unauthorized purpose and often emphasizes the fear of being discovered <a clandestine meeting of conspirators>. surreptitious applies to action or behavior done secretly often with skillful avoidance of detection and in violation of custom, law, or authority <the surreptitious stockpiling of weapons>. underhanded stresses fraud or deception <an underhanded trick>.


Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up underhanded? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

February 8, 2016

to clear from accusation or blame

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

image1037863653

Which of the following refers to thin, bending ice, or to the act of running over such ice?

pince-nez spindrift duvet kittly-benders
Name That Thing

10 quick questions: hear them, spell them, and see how your skills compare to the crowd.

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ