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 Those new concepts could undercut Esalen’s ideology long after the pandemic subsides. Gregory Thomas, SFChronicle.com, "Esalen Institute, a Big Sur icon, faces existential question during coronavirus crisis," 19 Apr. 2020 Price-wise, the Cadillac will undercut its German competition with a starting price around $85,000. Tony Quiroga, Car and Driver, "2021 Cadillac CT5-V Blackwing Boasts 650 HP and a Manual," 14 Apr. 2020 But the influence of Calder’s contemporaries shouldn’t undercut the originality of the artist’s vision. Rachel Corbett, The Atlantic, "Art in Motion," 12 Apr. 2020 This steadfast determination to present Biden as above the fray, however, undercuts the point of the podcast itself, which is to keep him in the news. Alex Shephard, The New Republic, "Joe Biden’s New Podcast Is So Bad," 10 Apr. 2020 Shark Kevin O’Leary decided to help Yamsuan in the negotiations with Cuban by undercutting him. Matthew Wilson, USA TODAY, "'Shark Tank' recap: Mark Cuban's sweet tooth bites into ice-cream treat," 7 Mar. 2020 While no decisions have been made, the Bloomberg operation could potentially begin supporting Biden in the primary by undercutting Sanders, who Bloomberg repeatedly argued would lose the election to Trump and imperil down-ballot Democrats. Benjamin Siegel, ABC News, "How Bloomberg could help Joe Biden take on Trump," 5 Mar. 2020 In one instance, Roche allegedly monopolized the market for Rituxan and Herceptin by undercutting rival bidders in auctions that were held to supply a national program for cancer medicines as well as hospitals. Ed Silverman, STAT, "Roche is fined by Romania for thwarting competition to its cancer medicines," 27 Jan. 2020 Opponents say dollar stores kill local small businesses by undercutting them with cheap goods, create food deserts by driving fresh markets out of business and sell cheap plastic products containing hazardous chemicals, usually made in China. John Carlisle, Freep.com, "Dollar store wants to infiltrate popular Up North vacation spot — and town fights back," 2 Dec. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun 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 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.

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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

29 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Undercut.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/undercut. Accessed 6 Jun. 2020.

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More Definitions for undercut


How to pronounce undercut (audio)

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

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Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for undercut

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with undercut

Spanish Central: Translation of undercut

Nglish: Translation of undercut for Spanish Speakers

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