un·​der·​dog | \ˈən-dər-ˌdȯg \

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

That might come as a surprise to visitors of Philadelphia; other popular cities on the eastern seaboard—think New York; Washington, D.C.; and Boston—can sometimes overshadow this Pennsylvania underdog. Megan Barber, Curbed, "The best things to do with kids in 13 U.S. cities," 20 Nov. 2018 Nixon was an underdog from the start—even the most optimistic polls tended to rank her behind Cuomo in the double digits. Sarah Emily Baum, Teen Vogue, "Why Do Candidates Run for Office When There’s Little Chance They Can Win?," 7 Nov. 2018 The vaginal ring is kind of like a birth control underdog. Korin Miller, SELF, "14 Things You Should Know Before Using the Vaginal Ring," 2 Aug. 2018 The Warriors become the first team in NBA history with five possible future Hall of Fame players in their prime to be considered a scrappy underdog. Scott Ostler, SFChronicle.com, "L.A. rolls out red carpet for LeBron and son," 1 July 2018 Brazil, Uruguay, Argentina and Colombia all look likely to make it out of their groups, with Peru the underdog. Siobhan Morrin, Time, "Your Ultimate Guide to Watching the 2018 World Cup," 13 June 2018 By embracing the identity of a crow-tit, BTS take ownership of the underdog nature of their career path, and that of their generational peers trying to achieve success in a world that appears biased against them. Tamar Herman, Billboard, "BTS' Most Political Lyrics: A Guide to Their Social Commentary on South Korean Society," 13 Feb. 2018 As the only community college in the U.S. to maintain a high-level rowing program, Orange Coast traveled to the storied event in England as an underdog. David Wharton, latimes.com, "Orange Coast crew reaches main draw at Henley Royal Regatta," 30 June 2018 Meghan Markle has been listed as an underdog in the godparent stakes by bookmakers surrounding the upcoming christening of two-month-old Prince Louis. Simon Perry, PEOPLE.com, "Why Meghan Markle Won’t Be Godmother to Prince Louis — and the Surprising Odds-On Favorites," 22 June 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.

See More

First Known Use of underdog

1859, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about underdog

Statistics for underdog

Last Updated

2 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for underdog

The first known use of underdog was in 1859

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

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 \

Kids Definition of underdog

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

Keep scrolling for more

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).


living or existing for a long time

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Late Autumn 2018 Words of the Day Quiz

  • frosted-autumn-leaves
  • Which is a synonym of yahoo?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Syn City

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!