un·​der·​hand | \ ˈən-dər-ˌhand How to pronounce underhand (audio) \

Definition of underhand

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : in a clandestine manner
b archaic : in a quiet or unobtrusive manner
2 : with an underhand motion bowl underhand pitch underhand



Definition of underhand (Entry 2 of 2)

2 : done so as to evade notice
3 : made with the hand brought forward and up from below the shoulder level an underhand serve

Synonyms & Antonyms for underhand

Synonyms: Adjective

Antonyms: Adjective

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Examples of underhand in a Sentence

Adjective willing to stoop to underhand methods in order to win the congressman's underhand attempt to slip several pork barrel items into the bill
Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Makita’s practically underhand release is unlike any pitcher presently in the majors and few ever. Kevin Acee, sandiegouniontribune.com, 27 May 2018 The reason this is important is that permission is being obtained in an underhand way—in effect being tricked out of us. Mark Dixon, Fortune, 24 May 2018 The game needs to help the bowlers more because the imbalance between bat and ball is one reason why bowlers and fielders have felt the need to alter the condition of the ball in an underhand way. Nick Compton, CNN, 30 Mar. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'underhand.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of underhand


1538, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1592, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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The first known use of underhand was in 1538

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Cite this Entry

“Underhand.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/underhand. Accessed 11 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for underhand


un·​der·​hand | \ ˈən-dər-ˌhand How to pronounce underhand (audio) \

Kids Definition of underhand

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: with an upward movement of the hand or arm She threw underhand.



Kids Definition of underhand (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : done in secret or so as to deceive underhand dealings
2 : made with an upward movement of the hand or arm an underhand throw

More from Merriam-Webster on underhand

Nglish: Translation of underhand for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of underhand for Arabic Speakers


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