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 But the approach is coming under increasing strain as congressional Democrats release transcripts and prepare to hold public hearings presenting evidence that directly undercuts Trump’s claims. BostonGlobe.com, "Trump makes falsehoods central to impeachment defense as incriminating evidence mounts - The Boston Globe," 7 Nov. 2019 Get our daily newsletter Rollo art is one of many bold creative experiments that undercut the GDR’s reputation as a desert of dour Socialist Realism. The Economist, "Thirty years after the Wall fell, East German art is causing a stir," 31 Oct. 2019 Senator Richard Blumenthal, Democrat of Connecticut, said, referring to the company’s push to pass legislation that undercuts the role of the F.A.A. in approving airplanes. Natalie Kitroeff, New York Times, "Boeing C.E.O. Knew About Pilot’s Warnings Before Second Crash," 29 Oct. 2019 Mulvaney told reporters that Trump had held up nearly $400 million in aid to push the foreign government to investigate Democrats, comments that undercut Trump's central defense in the inquiry. Anchorage Daily News, "Trump reversed course on hosting of G-7 at his resort after learning that Republicans were tired of defending him," 21 Oct. 2019 Mulvaney told reporters that Trump had held up nearly $400 million in aid to push the foreign government to investigate Democrats, comments that undercut Trump’s central defense in the inquiry. David A. Fahrenthold, The Denver Post, "Trump reversed course on G-7 after learning that Republicans were tired of defending him," 20 Oct. 2019 Fitbit’s original Versa was a hit with its slim design that appealed to men and women, and a $200 price that undercut much of the competition. Aaron Pressman, Fortune, "Fitbit Versa 2 Review: With Alexa and an Always-on Display, Fitness Tracking Gets Smarter," 13 Sep. 2019 Unfortunately, the writers don't let the symbolism of this moment stand on its own, and instead give June a mouthy speech about men, women and power that undercuts the whole scene. Kelly Lawler, USA TODAY, "'The Handmaid's Tale' Season 3 finale recap: A gorgeous and completely nonsensical ending," 14 Aug. 2019 Connecticut joined New York and New Jersey Wednesday in suing the Internal Revenue Service and the Treasury Department to block a rule that would undercut a plan lawmakers approved in 2018 to blunt the impact of federal tax law changes. Russell Blair, courant.com, "Connecticut sues IRS over tax changes," 17 July 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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Statistics for undercut

Last Updated

14 Nov 2019

Time Traveler for undercut

The first known use of undercut was in 1598

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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

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).


to engage in dissolute behavior

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