undercut

verb
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

undercut

noun
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.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

But many Ford insiders believed Iacocca had skillfully wielded a scalpel that undercut Knudsen. Donald Woutat, latimes.com, "Lee Iacocca, father of the Ford Mustang who later rescued Chrysler, dies at 94," 2 July 2019 Those actions have included blocking ships full of desperate migrants from entering Italy and working to destabilize the European Union by flouting its rules and potentially undercutting its currency. Jason Horowitz, New York Times, "As Pope Francis Champions Migrants, Some Cardinals Court the Far Right," 22 June 2019 The financial markets were spooked by the prospect that the Fed would end up going too far to tighten credit, thereby undercutting the economy and perhaps triggering a recession. CBS News, "3 things to watch for from the Federal Reserve on Wednesday," 18 June 2019 This growing willingness to undercut the president’s policy and personnel decisions has, however, coincided with Republicans growing ever more defensive of Trump, himself. Alex Shephard, The New Republic, "Corruption Is the Tie that Binds for Trump-Era Republicans," 11 June 2019 In fact, Tam devotes significant attention to the outrage of Native American groups, who believed his victory would undercut their efforts to strip the Washington Redskins football team of its trademark rights. Nathan Rizzo | For The Oregonian/oregonlive, oregonlive.com, "‘Slanted’ tells the story of Portland Asian American band’s fight to keep its name," 9 June 2019 Even with a synchronized global expansion, though, consumer debt is likely to erode the benefits of rising wages, undercutting the argument from gold bears that an improving world economy will damp haven demand for gold, Reik said. Luzi-ann Javier, Bloomberg.com, "This $8.8 Billion Fund Sees Financial Stress Spurring a Gold Rally," 16 Mar. 2018 Today’s report that White House chief of staff John Kelly may be undercutting the president’s position in talks with congressional Democrats is not likely to put POTUS in a conciliatory mood on the subject. Ed Kilgore, Daily Intelligencer, "Ryan’s Strategy May Be Backfiring, Earning GOP Blame for a Government Shutdown," 17 Jan. 2018 Some Northern European countries have many cutting-edge small exporters who worried that an U.K. outside the EU would undercut them in international markets and in the EU if Britain retained easy access to the bloc’s markets. Laurence Norman, WSJ, "Behind the Brexit Chaos, a Faulty U.K. Negotiating Strategy," 14 Dec. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

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 The Justice Department’s move undercuts perhaps the most critical argument by advocates in the Texas case. The Washington Post, Twin Cities, "Justice Department changes its position in high-profile Texas voter ID case," 27 Feb. 2017 The cut made the most of Taraji's previous undercut, with her kinks at full freedom. Rachel Nussbaum, Glamour, "Taraji P. Henson's Natural Curls Are Everything, As Is the Reason Behind Them," 26 June 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.

See More

First Known Use of undercut

Verb

1598, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

Noun

1859, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about undercut

Statistics for undercut

Last Updated

11 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for undercut

The first known use of undercut was in 1598

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for undercut

undercut

verb

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

undercut

noun
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

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on undercut

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with undercut

Spanish Central: Translation of undercut

Nglish: Translation of undercut for Spanish Speakers

Comments on undercut

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

WORD OF THE DAY

something desired as essential

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

What's that Smell?! Quiz

  • wide eyed dog smelling rose
  • Someone who is hircine smells like a:
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Bee Cubed

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!