un·​der-the-ta·​ble ˈən-dər-ṯẖə-ˈtā-bəl How to pronounce under-the-table (audio)
: covert and usually unlawful
under-the-table payoffs

Examples of under-the-table in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web While migrants wait, many rely on public resources or take low-paying and unreliable, under-the-table gigs. Hillary Chura, The Christian Science Monitor, 9 Jan. 2024 The most common job for these children is under-the-table work in roofing and construction, according to teachers, social workers, labor organizers and federal investigators. Hannah Dreier, New York Times, 14 Dec. 2023 In contrast, a home office makes the window for such under-the-table information exchanges elusive. Gleb Tsipursky, Fortune, 18 July 2023 First, the elephant in the room: Yes, some of these shops are doing a fantastic business in under-the-table or dubiously legal cannabis, especially in places where new laws have reduced penalties for unlicensed sales or created some legal confusion over exactly what merchants are allowed to carry. Amanda Mull, The Atlantic, 22 June 2023 Transparency is certainly better than the open secret of under-the-table payments. Steven P. Dinkin, San Diego Union-Tribune, 2 Apr. 2023 Throughout high school, Ward honed in on dancing, booking under-the-table gigs and teaching classes to earn extra money. Cydney Lee, Billboard, 13 Mar. 2023 Data showing the number of ChatGPT users in China who managed to find workarounds to the restrictions is not available, but the proliferation of under-the-table access points has at least provided some use cases for generative AI. Caiwei Chen, WIRED, 7 Mar. 2023 But nearby stars Marisa Tomei and Regina Hall continued the under-the-table exodus, with all four Hollywood personalities hiding under one table. Bryan Alexander, USA TODAY, 5 Mar. 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'under-the-table.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1948, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of under-the-table was in 1948

Dictionary Entries Near under-the-table

Cite this Entry

“Under-the-table.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/under-the-table. Accessed 13 Apr. 2024.

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