un·​der·​cut | \ ˌən-dər-ˈkət How to pronounce undercut (audio) \
undercut; undercutting

Definition of undercut

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to cut away the underpart of undercut a vein of ore
2 : to cut away material from the underside of (an object) so as to leave an overhanging portion in relief
3 : to offer to sell at lower prices than or to work for lower wages than (a competitor)
4 : to cut obliquely into (a tree) below the main cut and on the side toward which the tree will fall
5 : to strike (a ball) with a downward glancing blow so as to give a backspin or elevation to the shot
6 : to undermine or destroy the force, value, or effectiveness of inflation undercuts consumer buying power

intransitive verb

: to perform the action of cutting away beneath


un·​der·​cut | \ ˈən-dər-ˌkət How to pronounce undercut (audio) \

Definition of undercut (Entry 2 of 2)

1 British : tenderloin sense 1
2 : the action or result of cutting away from the underside or lower part of something
3 : a notch cut in the base of a tree before felling to determine the direction of falling and to prevent splitting

Examples of undercut in a Sentence

Verb They undercut the competing store by 10 percent. a law that undercuts the Constitution Her behavior undercuts her own credibility.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb AstraZeneca Plc remains committed to getting U.S. emergency clearance for its coronavirus vaccine whose public acceptance has been undercut by a series of missteps and potentially serious rare side effects. Fortune, "AstraZeneca seeks FDA emergency approval after missing target," 30 Apr. 2021 Sadly, this is not the first time that Myanmar has seen its democratic transition undercut by military oppression and violence. Alex Aung Khant, Time, "The People of Myanmar Have Rejected the Generals. ASEAN and the World Must Do so as Well," 23 Apr. 2021 The Gators’ three consecutive victories to end February, including on the road at Auburn and Kentucky, were undercut by two losses to open March. Edgar Thompson, orlandosentinel.com, "Unpredictable Gators seek postseason push, beginning at SEC Tournament," 10 Mar. 2021 Ravens All-Pro left tackle Ronnie Stanley left with an ankle injury in the first quarter after being accidentally undercut by Pittsburgh's T.J. Watt. David Ginsburg, Star Tribune, "Steelers stay unbeaten with 28-24 comeback win over Ravens," 1 Nov. 2020 Lafave said Alameda Health System has repeatedly undercut patient safety by cutting staff and withholding personal protective equipment. Nora Mishanec, SFChronicle.com, "Thousands of East Bay health care workers launch strike, protesting patient safety, poor conditions," 7 Oct. 2020 The commissioners rejected White’s petition, on advice of their regulatory staff, who felt that taking the time to draw up clearer rules would undercut the legislation’s underlying goal: getting new pipe in the ground as fast as possible. Lucas Manfield, ProPublica, "Natural Gas Is Getting Cheaper. Thousands Are Paying More To Heat Their Homes Anyway.," 17 Apr. 2021 Unlike Biden’s other tax proposals, a global minimum tax cannot be enacted by the United States alone: other world economies would also need to agree on the minimum and pledge not to undercut it. Sarah Hansen, Forbes, "BofA Says Chance Of Global Corporate Minimum Tax Hit Is Rising—Thanks To Biden," 16 Apr. 2021 Each side contended the other’s position would undercut innovation. Susan Decker, Fortune, "Google wins Oracle copyright fight as Supreme Court overturns ruling," 5 Apr. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun An undercut is achieved by cutting or shaving the hair that lays on your scalp in the back of your head super short — while leaving the hair on top longer. Megan Oster, chicagotribune.com, "How to style short hair," 10 Apr. 2021 Her head is half-shaved in an asymmetrical buzz cut, and we are obsessed with the first royal undercut. Sarah Midkiff, refinery29.com, "The Princess Of Monaco Just Got The Coolest Punk Haircut," 18 Dec. 2020 Eagland cut Theron's hair into a precise undercut in the back. Maya Allen, Marie Claire, "Only Charlize Theron Can Make a Bowl Cut Look This Chic," 3 Sep. 2019 This actually isn't the first time Berry has revealed an artsy undercut. Marci Robin, Allure, "Halle Berry Just Debuted the Coolest Undercut Art," 16 May 2019 Tons of celebrities have rocked undercuts over the years—including Kylie Jenner, Miley Cyrus, Rihanna, Cara Delevingne, and Natalie Dormer. Jenna Rosenstein, Harper's BAZAAR, "Selena Gomez Just Shaved Her Head," 23 Apr. 2018 An undercut is also a cool and easy way to add spice to just about any updo. Rebecca Norris, Allure, "15 Undercut Ideas That Are Going to Give You Major Hair Inspo," 12 Apr. 2018 Jason Sudeikis and Ed Harris do strong work playing harshly estranged, somehow pulling us close to their off-putting characters before forced sentiment in the late going undercuts director Mark Raso’s film. Tom Russo, BostonGlobe.com, "Ed Harris and Jason Sudeikis clash as father and son in ‘Kodachrome’," 18 Apr. 2018 See: glitter lip art, terranium eyes, bejeweled undercuts, and now? Kelsi Zimmerman, Marie Claire, "Chic or Clownish? Pom Pom Makeup Is Now a Thing," 23 May 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'undercut.' 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 undercut


1598, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1


1859, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for undercut

Time Traveler

The first known use of undercut was in 1598

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Last Updated

6 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Undercut.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/undercut. Accessed 10 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for undercut



English Language Learners Definition of undercut

: to offer to sell things or work for a lower cost than (another person or company)
: to make (something) weaker or less effective


un·​der·​cut | \ ˈən-dər-ˌkət How to pronounce undercut (audio) \

Medical Definition of undercut

: the part of a tooth lying between the gum and the points of maximum outward bulge on the tooth's surfaces

More from Merriam-Webster on undercut

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for undercut

Nglish: Translation of undercut for Spanish Speakers

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