un·​der·​bel·​ly | \ ˈən-dər-ˌbe-lē How to pronounce underbelly (audio) \

Definition of underbelly

1 : a vulnerable area also : a corrupt or sordid part probing the underbelly of the entertainment industry
2 : the underside of a body or mass

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Examples of underbelly in a Sentence

They exposed the underbelly of the nation's economic policy. the sordid underbelly of city life

Recent Examples on the Web

The president himself has sometimes shied away from being straightforward and forceful in statements addressing extremism that creeps up more and more from the dark underbelly of this country. Eric Heisig, cleveland.com, "Ohio U.S. attorney to white nationalists: You have a ‘right to be on the losing end of this argument’," 30 Aug. 2019 The underbelly of boxing eventually turned off Getty, who packed up and moved to Florida, taking a steady job at Belleair Elementary. Chris Mannix, SI.com, "Shadow Trainer: Ben Getty Is Gone, but Keith Thurman Is Still Listening," 18 July 2019 The trailer teases a madcap dive into the world's financial underbelly. Chloe Foussianes, Town & Country, "In The Laundromat, Meryl Streep Uncovers Gary Oldman and Antonio Banderas's Dirty Dealings," 29 Aug. 2019 More Stories by Ann Killion That was a scary view of the ugliness of football, of the sick underbelly of a game in which intolerance and lack of empathy too often seem to be the currency of fans. Ann Killion, SFChronicle.com, "Don’t boo Andrew Luck: The man has perspective," 26 Aug. 2019 This is part of the dark underbelly of American society. NBC News, "Democratic debate transcript: July 30, 2019," 31 July 2019 This is part of the dark underbelly of American society. Holly Bailey, BostonGlobe.com, "What to know about Marianne Williamson," 31 July 2019 And yet this underbelly of the Civil Rights Act is rarely acknowledged today. Jeanne Theoharis, The Denver Post, "Commentary: How school desegregation became the third rail of Democratic politics," 12 July 2019 To conceal their crime, the sisters must go deeper into Easter Cove's underbelly and uncover the town matriarchs' darkest secrets. Mia Galuppo, The Hollywood Reporter, "Amazon Nabs Rights to Noir 'Blow the Man Down' (Exclusive)," 15 Aug. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'underbelly.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of underbelly

1942, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for underbelly

Last Updated

22 Sep 2019

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Time Traveler for underbelly

The first known use of underbelly was in 1942

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More Definitions for underbelly



English Language Learners Definition of underbelly

: the bottom part of an object or an animal's body
: an area that is easy to attack or criticize
: a part of society, an organization, etc., that is hidden and usually unpleasant

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Comments on underbelly

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


to spread over or through

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