un·​der·​bel·​ly ˈən-dər-ˌbe-lē How to pronounce underbelly (audio)
: a vulnerable area
also : a corrupt or sordid part
probing the underbelly of the entertainment industry
: the underside of a body or mass

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 For thrill seekers, Bridge Walk offers a spine-tingling catwalk (harnesses included) across the underbelly of this metal rainbow. Emily Pennington, Southern Living, 6 Mar. 2024 The Charlotte Hornets’ new vice president of basketball operations takes a seat in the underbelly of Spectrum Center inside the Crown Club, a place that will be re-imagined this summer during the arena’s two-year renovation project. Roderick Boone, Charlotte Observer, 6 Mar. 2024 With a creeping sense of existential dread, Gerwig and Nolan expose the underbelly of the systems that built Barbie and the atomic bomb. Maureen Lee Lenker, EW.com, 20 July 2023 This is great for the sport, overriding all of Nick Saban’s concerns about the machinations in the underbelly that don’t interest fans. Greg Cote, Miami Herald, 22 Feb. 2024 The pin was located on the underbelly of Virgin Galactic’s mothership, called VMS Eve, which is a twin-fuselage plane designed to carry the space plane, VMS Unity, under its wings to a high altitude before VMS Unity is released and vaults toward the edge of space. Jackie Wattles, CNN, 5 Feb. 2024 But that success has an underbelly when our perfectionism pigeonholes us as the worker bee. Ellen Connelly Taaffe, Fortune, 2 Jan. 2024 But in more than 30 interviews with current and former eXp agents, women said the culture has an underbelly. Debra Kamin, New York Times, 15 Dec. 2023 More groups of rowdy children will soon stream into the back alleyways of this small city in northern Uganda, eking out a life in its underbelly. Sophie Neiman, The Christian Science Monitor, 19 Dec. 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'underbelly.' 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

1942, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of underbelly was in 1942

Dictionary Entries Near underbelly

Cite this Entry

“Underbelly.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/underbelly. Accessed 16 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


un·​der·​bel·​ly ˈən-dər-ˌbel-ē How to pronounce underbelly (audio)
: the underpart of a body or mass
the underbelly of a bomber
also : an area open to attack or damage
the army's underbelly
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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