un·​der·​cut | \ˌən-dər-ˈkət \
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 \

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


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

Most serious, American e-commerce merchants are undercut by Chinese competitors. Greg Ip, WSJ, "Send Word: Trump Is Right to Fight Some Global Rules," 24 Oct. 2018 Monthly installments: For the 64GB Pixel 3 model, the Google Store undercuts Verizon ever so slightly, costing $33.29 per month. Cameron Faulkner, The Verge, "This is how much Google’s Pixel 3 costs at Verizon, Best Buy, and Google Store," 15 Oct. 2018 But this year, the Legislature’s delay undercuts its power because the formal legislative session ends July 31, and a formal roll call vote is required to override a gubernatorial veto. Joshua Miller And Matt Stout, BostonGlobe.com, "Mass. Legislature could strengthen Charlie Baker’s hand with budget delay," 12 July 2018 That undercuts Jordan's theory that some of these wrestlers are out to get him politically. Amber Phillips, Washington Post, "Just how much trouble is Jim Jordan in over alleged Ohio State sexual abuse?," 9 July 2018 Arrests were still more than double from 16,077 in June 2017, but the sharp decline from spring could undercut the Trump administration's narrative of a border in crisis. Elliott Spagat, chicagotribune.com, "Border Patrol arrests drop sharply in June, ending streak of increases," 2 July 2018 Neilsen’s shock is undercut by Kelly (among many other Trump officials) saying repeatedly that the policy was meant as a deterrent to families thinking of crossing the border. Margaret Hartmann, Daily Intelligencer, "John Kelly Doesn’t Care Enough to Save Trump From Himself," 19 June 2018 While Trump is still insisting that his decision to take children from their families is actually the Democrats' fault, at least one Republican senator has undercut that message. Luke Darby, GQ, "Stephen Miller Wants Credit for Breaking Up Families at the Border," 17 June 2018 Meanwhile, Mr Sareshwala’s competitors abroad, free of such concerns, can undercut him. The Economist, "President Trump’s tariffs have united his opponents at home and abroad," 7 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

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


1598, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1


1859, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about undercut

Statistics for undercut

Last Updated

14 Nov 2018

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



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 \

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

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).


noxious or harmful

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

A Thanksgiving Word Quiz

  • a-traditional-thanksgiving-dinner
  • November comes from a word for which of the following numbers?
True or False

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

Dictionary Devil

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

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