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 Ohio State, a seven-point underdog in the Sugar Bowl, was playing without several starters due to coronavirus contact tracing. Laine Higgins, WSJ, "Ohio State Stuns Clemson, Setting Up Title Showdown With Alabama," 2 Jan. 2021 Entering the Rose Bowl semifinal a 20-point underdog to Alabama begged the question that clearly annoyed Irish coach Brian Kelly. Michael Casagrande | Mcasagrande@al.com, al, "Does Notre Dame have something to prove after high-profile flops? Irish sick of ‘narrative.’," 30 Dec. 2020 The Detroit Pistons were the visitors for the Wolves' 32nd opener, and the talent level for coach Dwane Casey is such Detroit was a 5½-point underdog to a Wolves club projected to be in the West playoffs by team owner Glen Taylor and few others. Patrick Reusse, Star Tribune, "Timberwolves played well in stretch — unlike so many times last season," 23 Dec. 2020 To stand up for the underdog and to rise together around the commonality of LOVE. Rania Aniftos, Billboard, "Nico Vega Members Unveil 'Cease & Desist' Playlist for Donald Trump," 23 Dec. 2020 Linebacker Justin March is in a fight for roster spot, and might be an underdog to undrafted rookie LB Francis Bernard. Michael Gehlken, Dallas News, "Observations from Cowboys training camp: Greg Zuerlein continues perfect start; Trevon Diggs makes pick," 27 Aug. 2020 Kansas City will then be the underdog in their attempt to repeat as conference champs and reach Super Bowl 55. oregonlive, "Kansas City’s Patrick Mahomes takes ‘some big steps,’ remains in concussion protocol: Report," 20 Jan. 2021 For a country accustomed to being the underdog on the World Cup circuit, victories like this one feel even more significant. Ariella Gintzler, Outside Online, "Jessie Diggins Wins the Tour de France of Skiing," 13 Jan. 2021 Ohio State opened as a seven-point underdog for a line that has since moved up to nine. Stephen Means, cleveland, "Which mascot head did Lee Corso pick between Ohio State football and Alabama on ESPN’s College GameDay?," 11 Jan. 2021

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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Time Traveler for underdog

Time Traveler

The first known use of underdog was in 1859

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Statistics for underdog

Last Updated

27 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Underdog.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/underdog. Accessed 7 Mar. 2021.

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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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Comments on underdog

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