un·​der·​hand·​ed | \ ˌən-dər-ˈhan-dəd How to pronounce underhanded (audio) \

Definition of underhanded

 (Entry 1 of 2)



Definition of underhanded (Entry 2 of 2)

: marked by secrecy, chicanery, and deception : not honest and aboveboard : sly an underhanded attempt to gain power

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Other Words from underhanded


underhandedly adverb
underhandedness noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for underhanded

Synonyms: Adjective

bent [chiefly British], crooked, deceptive, dishonest, double-dealing, duplicitous, fast, fraudulent, guileful, rogue, shady, sharp, shifty, underhand

Antonyms: Adjective

aboveboard, honest, straight

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Choose the Right Synonym for underhanded


secret, covert, stealthy, furtive, clandestine, surreptitious, underhanded mean done without attracting observation. secret implies concealment on any grounds for any motive. met at a secret location covert stresses the fact of not being open or declared. covert intelligence operations stealthy suggests taking pains to avoid being seen or heard especially in some misdoing. the stealthy step of a burglar furtive implies a sly or cautious stealthiness. lovers exchanging furtive glances clandestine implies secrecy usually for an evil, illicit, or unauthorized purpose and often emphasizes the fear of being discovered. a clandestine meeting of conspirators surreptitious applies to action or behavior done secretly often with skillful avoidance of detection and in violation of custom, law, or authority. the surreptitious stockpiling of weapons underhanded stresses fraud or deception. an underhanded trick

Examples of underhanded in a Sentence


the commercial is a part of an underhanded PR campaign to whitewash the company's environmental record an underhanded attempt at infiltrating the other party's headquarters

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Who can avoid being seized by cramps, as American Jared Donaldson was in his five-set loss to Grigor Dimitrov on Wednesday, forced to serve underhanded before succumbing in the second round of the French Open. Liz Clarke, chicagotribune.com, "Tennis could have reason to make matches shorter: Your shrinking attention span," 3 June 2018 The forward used the backboard, flicking the ball underhanded off it with a bounce pass. Jayda Evans, The Seattle Times, "‘He’s the future of basketball’: Federal Way’s Jaden McDaniels has become one of the best in nation," 20 Feb. 2019 The victory came despite Rychagova having to serve underhanded. Pete Grathoff And Jesse Newell, kansascity, "KU doubles team wins NCAA match despite player being forced to serve underhand | The Kansas City Star," 25 May 2018 The report was released as Facebook fends off numerous accusations of incompetent or underhanded behavior. Adi Robertson, The Verge, "Facebook removed a lot of spam, violence, and fake accounts this year," 15 Nov. 2018 To Francis’s critics, this was an underhanded way of changing the Church’s practice on divorce and remarriage while leaving its official policy officially intact. Tara Isabella Burton, Vox, "Catholic Church insiders are calling for Pope Francis to resign. Here’s why.," 28 Aug. 2018 As a youth, Schwartz excelled in baseball, and shines throwing the softball underhanded in the games. Marvin Glassman, Jewish Journal, "Men relive their youth through JCC summer softball league," 3 July 2018 In the second half of Cleveland’s Game 4 rout in the 2017 N.B.A. finals, LeBron James flung the ball off the backboard underhanded from behind the free-throw line and dunked home the ball off the glass. Scott Cacciola, New York Times, "Kevin Durant Pulls Warriors Closer to Another N.B.A. Title," 7 June 2018 Pitching will be underhanded and players won't be wearing gloves. Hannah Kirby, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "21 Things-to-do in Waukesha County in July," 27 June 2018

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


circa 1822, in the meaning defined above


1853, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for underhanded

The first known use of underhanded was circa 1822

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More Definitions for underhanded



English Language Learners Definition of underhanded

chiefly US : done in a secret and dishonest way : intended to deceive or trick someone


un·​der·​hand·​ed | \ ˌən-dər-ˈhan-dəd How to pronounce underhanded (audio) \

Kids Definition of underhanded

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More from Merriam-Webster on underhanded

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with underhanded

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for underhanded

Spanish Central: Translation of underhanded

Nglish: Translation of underhanded for Spanish Speakers

Comments on underhanded

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a tendency to relapse

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