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

While the case at face value appears to champion the underdog — benefiting Detroiters caught up in the yearly tax auction — there is concern among some academics around the motivations of the Pacific Legal Foundation. Allie Gross, Detroit Free Press, "Lawsuit challenges Wayne County's authority to take homes over tax debts," 10 July 2019 Four Eastern teams are on the other side of the bracket — MLS clubs Atlanta United, Orlando City, New York City and another underdog, USL Championship side St. Louis FC. Andy Greder, Twin Cities, "U.S. Open Cup: Minnesota United won’t hold back against USL side," 9 July 2019 Elliott, who lives in Scripps Ranch, was considered an underdog during the 2016 city attorney’s race, but finished second in the primary and easily won a November runoff. David Garrick, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Briggs launches campaign for city attorney against Elliott," 8 July 2019 The Netherlands held on for over an hour but two goals within eight minutes sealed the underdog's fate. Aimee Lewis, CNN, "USWNT wins Women's World Cup thanks to Megan Rapinoe and Rose Lavelle goals," 7 July 2019 The underdog Dutch stayed in the game largely thanks to the outstanding play of keeper Sari van Veenendaal. Ann Killion, SFChronicle.com, "Greatest version of greatest women’s team ever: US wins fourth World Cup," 7 July 2019 The oddsmakers have made the Netherlands almost an 8-1 underdog, even though the Dutch team is the reigning European champion, owns a string of 12 straight international tournament victories and has given up just one goal in the knockout round. Peter Schmuck, baltimoresun.com, "Schmuck: U.S. Women's World Cup journey has even captured the imagination of this non-soccer fan," 7 July 2019 Two ambitious politicians who embodied Connecticut's scrappy underdog spirit, flamed out in scandal and crawled back -- partially, anyway -- into the statewide spotlight. Michael Hamad, courant.com, "Capitol Watch Podcast: Welcome to Corrupticut, part four," 4 July 2019 England is the underdog with +350 odds, meaning a $100 bet would win you $350. Thom Craver, CBS News, "USA vs. England: How to watch the Women's World Cup semi-final," 1 July 2019

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

15 Jul 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

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