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 The latter is a tricky proposition politically, as Democratic lawmakers worry speeding up that process would undercut environmental reviews. Abby Smith, Washington Examiner, "Electricity research CEO tells Biden how to do his climate math," 27 Mar. 2021 But critics say that subsidizing such defenses could undercut police accountability by sending a message to officers that the city will back them no matter what. Jake Pearson, ProPublica, "A Police Union Contract Puts Taxpayers on the Hook to Defend Officers When the City Won’t," 26 Mar. 2021 Oh, and the fact that Samsung undercut OnePlus by releasing the Galaxy S20 FE that nearly matches its specs, but costs $50 less. Michael Andronico, CNN Underscored, "These are the best smartphones of 2020," 31 Dec. 2020 Britain has said that having to meet EU rules would undercut its sovereignty. Pan Pylas, ajc, "What now for British economy with UK-EU trade deal reached?," 24 Dec. 2020 Biden could always offer some perfunctory excuse for firing Wray, but that would undercut his no-malarkey public image. Matt Ford, The New Republic, "What America Needs Now Is a President Who Will Go Nuclear on the Justice Department," 17 Dec. 2020 Although the pandemic has undercut Trump’s reelection bid since the spring, the latest surge poses special perils for Trump, whom voters largely blame in polls for the worsening pandemic and resulting economic upheaval. Los Angeles Times, "Newsletter: Today’s Headlines: Not turning the corner," 29 Oct. 2020 Still, the letter shows that the Cuomo administration was poised to quickly and aggressively undercut Ms. Boylan, a Democrat who is running for Manhattan borough president. New York Times, "How Cuomo’s Team Tried to Tarnish One of His Accusers," 16 Mar. 2021 Executives turned defectors have claimed widespread internal corruption, music stars have questioned the show’s voting processes, and streaming platforms have kickstarted their own rival shows to undercut the Grammys’ unique prestige. Andrew R. Chow, Time, "Can the Grammys Survive the Changing Music Landscape?," 10 Mar. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun 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 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

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

31 Mar 2021

Cite this Entry

“Undercut.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/undercut. Accessed 11 Apr. 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

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Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for undercut

Nglish: Translation of undercut for Spanish Speakers

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