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

Other Words from underhanded


underhandedly adverb
underhandedness noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for underhanded

Synonyms: Adjective

Antonyms: Adjective

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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

Adjective 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 Shortly after, Los Angeles County stripped them of the land using underhanded tactics and local officials. Essence, 30 Dec. 2021 Shortly after, Los Angeles County stripped them of the land using underhanded tactics and local officials. Essence, 30 Dec. 2021 The indictment is the latest in a long series of prosecutions against former Argentine officials in a court system that experts regard as heavily politicized and underhanded. New York Times, 2 Dec. 2021 George Gervin popularized the underhanded finger roll and the idea of delicately flicking the ball over a shot blocker. Mark Zeigler, San Diego Union-Tribune, 19 Nov. 2021 This source did agree, however, that placing ads for other companies’ products and using their trademarks was a little underhanded. John Koetsier, Forbes, 12 Nov. 2021 Randle confirmed the underhanded toss, which landed somewhere behind the basket, was a reaction of joy and relief after a grueling game. Stefan Bondy, courant.com, 23 Oct. 2021 Shortly after, Los Angeles County stripped them of the land using underhanded tactics and local officials. Kevin L. Clark, Essence, 1 Oct. 2021 This is not just an underhanded and vile tactic for lawyers to win cases. Maia Niguel Hoskin, Forbes, 28 Sep. 2021

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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The first known use of underhanded was circa 1822

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Cite this Entry

“Underhanded.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/underhanded. Accessed 24 Jan. 2022.

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More Definitions for underhanded



English Language Learners Definition of underhanded

: 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

More from Merriam-Webster on underhanded

Nglish: Translation of underhanded for Spanish Speakers


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