underbelly

noun
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

Keep scrolling for more

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.

See More

First Known Use of underbelly

1942, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about underbelly

Statistics for underbelly

Last Updated

22 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for underbelly

The first known use of underbelly was in 1942

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for underbelly

underbelly

noun

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

More from Merriam-Webster on underbelly

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with underbelly

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for underbelly

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).

WORD OF THE DAY

to spread over or through

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

The Exceptions Quiz III

  • one green toy robot amidst many red toy robots
  • Which of these words does not mean "nonsense"?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Syn City

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

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!