un·​der·​dog | \ ˈən-dər-ˌdȯg How to pronounce underdog (audio) \

Definition of underdog

1 : a loser or predicted loser in a struggle or contest
2 : a victim of injustice or persecution

Examples of underdog in a Sentence

I always root for the underdog instead of the favorite. As a lawyer, she consistently represented the underdog.

Recent Examples on the Web

But since everyone loves an underdog story, and a lot of people really, really love transportation, the fortunes of this miniature method of conveyance were about to turn. Shoshana Wodinsky, The Verge, "How the aerial tramway was saved from being Twitter’s least popular emoji," 26 July 2018 Speaking of Moser, the pro-Bernie Sanders group Our Revolution has endorsed her, as well as Rick Trevino, who’s the underdog to Gina Ortiz Jones in today’s TX-23 runoff. Chuck Todd, NBC News, "Five things to watch in tonight's midterm primaries and runoffs," 22 May 2018 Beltran would be a massive underdog to the gifted Lomachenko, who threw more than 700 punches at Linares and has overwhelmed many with his rapid hand speed and strategic movement. Lance Pugmire, latimes.com, "Vasiliy Lomachenko's new lightweight belt has him on collision course with Mikey Garcia," 14 May 2018 Driscoll, who is considered an underdog to incumbent Democratic mayor Miro Weinberger, has been endorsed by her stepdad’s legacy Our Revolution organization. Ed Kilgore, Daily Intelligencer, "Bernie Sanders Has Two Family Members Running For Office, And That Could Cause Real Trouble," 1 Mar. 2018 Three who mattered Nick Foles: Carson Wentz’s backup completed the best underdog story in Philly since Rocky Balboa. Joseph Person, charlotteobserver, "In high-flying game, Eagles win Super Bowl with one defensive play," 4 Feb. 2018 Whoever wins the Maryland primary will enter the general election as an underdog against Republican Gov. Larry Hogan, who ranks among the nation’s most popular governors despite overseeing a Democratic state. Reid J. Epstein, WSJ, "Primary Themes: A Bush Cousin, the Bernie Sanders Effect, Talking Like Trump," 26 June 2018 Despite a compelling personal story that showed her as an underdog, Breed was the favorite of the business and political establishment communities going into the contest. Washington Post, "London Breed in position to be San Francisco’s next mayor," 13 June 2018 Miami was always seen as an underdog for Amazon’s headquarters, given its thin roster of heavy corporate hitters, lack of a tech-savvy workforce and low marks on certain urban perks, like a vibrant transit system. Douglas Hanks, miamiherald, "Losing Amazon HQ2 headquarters could still be a win for Miami | Miami Herald," 19 Jan. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'underdog.' 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 underdog

1859, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for underdog

Last Updated

6 May 2019

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Time Traveler for underdog

The first known use of underdog was in 1859

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More Definitions for underdog



English Language Learners Definition of underdog

: a person, team, etc., that is expected to lose a contest or battle
: a less powerful person or thing that struggles against a more powerful person or thing (such as a corporation)


un·​der·​dog | \ ˈən-dər-ˌdȯg How to pronounce underdog (audio) \

Kids Definition of underdog

: a person or team thought to have little chance of winning (as an election or a game)

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More from Merriam-Webster on underdog

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with underdog

Spanish Central: Translation of underdog

Nglish: Translation of underdog for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of underdog for Arabic Speakers

Comments on underdog

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


one that collects or salvages junk

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