undermine


un·der·mine

verb \ˌən-dər-ˈmīn\

: to make (someone or something) weaker or less effective usually in a secret or gradual way

Full Definition of UNDERMINE

transitive verb
1
:  to excavate the earth beneath :  form a mine under :  sap
2
:  to wash away supporting material from under
3
:  to subvert or weaken insidiously or secretly <trying to undermine his political rivals>
4
:  to weaken or ruin by degrees

Examples of UNDERMINE

  1. She tried to undermine my authority by complaining about me to my boss.
  2. The events of the past year have undermined people's confidence in the government.

First Known Use of UNDERMINE

14th century

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