underbelly

noun un·der·bel·ly \ ˈən-dər-ˌbe-lē \

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

Examples of underbelly in a Sentence

  1. They exposed the underbelly of the nation's economic policy.

  2. the sordid underbelly of city life

Recent Examples of underbelly from the Web

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.

First Known Use of underbelly

1942


UNDERBELLY Defined for English Language Learners

underbelly

noun

Definition of underbelly for English Language Learners

  • : 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



Seen and Heard

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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

WORD OF THE DAY

ditzy

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Find the Cousins

  • a-large-tree-with-many-branches
  • Which pair shares a common word ancestor?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

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!