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

Peter Doran is one of the scientists who spent weeks using the Dreamcatcher to map the underbelly of Antarctica’s Dry Valleys. Daniela Hernandez, WSJ, "Climate’s Big Unknown: What’s Happening Beneath Antarctica’s Ice?," 29 Dec. 2018 The problem with outsourcing moderation Workers like Scola represent the unglamorous underbelly of major social platforms like Facebook and YouTube. Timothy B. Lee, Ars Technica, "Ex-Facebook moderator sues Facebook over exposure to disturbing images," 26 Sep. 2018 Once more, the director Oliver Stone turns to the sordid underbelly of governance. Peter Libbey, New York Times, "What’s on TV Sunday: ‘Sharp Objects’ and ‘Snowden’," 8 July 2018 Planets transiting this area help us understand the underbelly of any situation and serve as a reminder of life’s complexities. Aliza Kelly Faragher, Allure, "The 12 Astrological Houses: Interpreting Your Birth Chart Beyond the Zodiac," 6 Oct. 2018 Favreau's production is wholly separate from Lucas's, which would have been set in the seedy underbelly of Coruscant between the original and prequel trilogies. Darren Orf, Popular Mechanics, "Everything We Know So Far About Star Wars "The Mandalorian"," 5 Oct. 2018 The underbelly of the lineup is divided between rising acts in rock (Pvris, Japanese Breakfast, Jay Som) and dance (JLin, Yaeji, Helena Hauff). Andrew R. Chow, New York Times, "15 Pop Music Festivals to Catch This Summer," 17 May 2018 This is because Pein starts from the grimy underbelly of tech and never makes it out, which accurately reflects the experience of many tech workers. Nikil Saval, New York Times, "The Fate of Most Silicon Valley Drones: ‘Live Work Work Work Die’," 25 May 2018 The same developer behind Geralt’s brooding, sword-and-magic adventures has now emerged with a first-person, shotgun-crazy, branching-narrative, hack-the-world, exploding-limbs dive into the criminal underbelly of near-future Los Angeles. Sam Machkovech, Ars Technica, "Cyberpunk 2077 world premiere: 50 minutes of William Gibson-level insanity," 14 June 2018

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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Last Updated

10 Mar 2019

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Time Traveler for underbelly

The first known use of underbelly was in 1942

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


a shady place in a garden or forest

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