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 For players who choose to use them this way, games are the sum of their mechanics and aesthetics, like the underbelly of a piano or the set of a Broadway play. Cecilia D'anastasio, Wired, "In Minecraft's Dream SMP, All the Server's a Stage," 12 Jan. 2021 West Patrol officers Roberto Mireles, Jorge Ramos and Aiden Canales joined him with fire extinguishers from their cars to put out the fire that had spread to the underbelly of the vehicle. Taylor Pettaway, San Antonio Express-News, "WATCH: SAPD officers rescue two from burning vehicle after a West Side accident," 28 Jan. 2021 The imaging system, dubbed the MX-15, attached to the underbelly of the aerostat was roughly the size of a beach ball. Annie Jacobsen, Wired, "Palantir’s God’s-Eye View of Afghanistan," 20 Jan. 2021 The high-speed train — built to impress the world with Japanese technology — also showed the underbelly of the Olympics: excessive spending. Stephen Wade, Star Tribune, "Man born in Hiroshima lights 1964 Tokyo Olympic cauldron," 5 Aug. 2020 The Danny Deck story speaks to the underbelly of Rangers’ history, the darkness that reveals itself as often as the light and which serves as the underpinning of Swanson’s book. Michael Granberry, Dallas News, "The Texas Rangers didn’t invent police brutality, says the author of a new book, ‘they perfected it’," 4 June 2020 For Garland and Devs, the balancing act pits a Lily-centric conspiracy and criminal underbelly story a la Homeland against a philosophical near-future sci-fi concept starring whatever Amaya and CEO Forest are up to. Nathan Mattise, Ars Technica, "Starring Nick Offerman as bearded tech-bro enigma, FX’s Devs has a lot going on," 6 Mar. 2020 Laita wants to use the money from Patreon and YouTube to photograph and record people living in different underbellies of distress across the country. Lateshia Beachum, Washington Post, "A woman’s hard-luck story on YouTube led to thousands in donations. Some smelled a scam.," 27 Feb. 2020 The underbelly of fame is often anxiety, isolation, and addiction. Faran Krentcil, Harper's BAZAAR, "12 Ways Fashion Was Defined in the 2010s," 19 Dec. 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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Time Traveler for underbelly

Time Traveler

The first known use of underbelly was in 1942

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Statistics for underbelly

Last Updated

22 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Underbelly.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/underbelly. Accessed 4 Mar. 2021.

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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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