un·der·line | \ˈən-dər-ˌlīn, ˌən-dər-ˈlīn \
underlined; underlining; underlines

Definition of underline 

(Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to mark (something, such as a word) with a line underneath

2 : to put emphasis on : stress

3 : to show clearly or emphatically


un·der·line | \ˈən-dər-ˌlīn \

Definition of underline (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : the outline of a quadruped's underbody also : the ventral surface of a quadruped's body

2 : a horizontal line placed underneath something

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Synonyms & Antonyms for underline

Synonyms: Verb

accentuate, bring out, emphasize, italicize, stress, underscore

Antonyms: Verb


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Examples of underline in a Sentence


His name was underlined in the book. The accident underlines our need for better safety procedures.

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Seeing the open compassion of Maeve’s Shogun World counterpart, Akane, a similarly steely mother hen, helped underline just how different Maeve’s awakening has been compared to Dolores. Spencer Kornhaber, The Atlantic, "Westworld: A Cut Above," 20 May 2018 His life in those days was underlined by not having enough money. Zito Madu, GQ, "How to Forgive Your Father," 26 June 2018 Experts say inequities in the student-lending system are also underlined by the looming tax bomb. Josh Mitchell, WSJ, "Student-Debt Forgiveness Is a Wonderful Boon, Until the IRS Comes Calling," 24 June 2018 In a society without a safety net, even home is unsafe — a point underlined by the eardrum-rupturing booms set off elsewhere in Brigid and Rich’s building. Lily Janiak, San Francisco Chronicle, "Family is a miracle in SHN’s ‘The Humans’," 7 June 2018 Temperatures hovered in the 30s most of the day, the miserable conditions underlined by strong wind gusts. Mike Hembree, USA TODAY, "In battle of Kyles, Kyle Busch edges Kyle Larson in closing laps at Bristol," 16 Apr. 2018 The board underlined that there was no evidence supporting Rialmo’s claims that LeGrier approached officers with a baseball bat in a threatening manner. Breanna Edwards, The Root, "Jury Finds that Chicago Cop Acted ‘Reasonably’ in 2015 Fatal Shooting of Quintonio LeGrier," 28 June 2018 But few other heritages and cultures are represented — underlining that the advertising world and media as a whole have been slow to reflect the diversity of this country. Victoria Hernandez, latimes.com, "Celebrate motherhood with the new book 'American Mom'," 10 May 2018 Their big investment replacing Suh on the defensive line was defensive end Robert Quinn, who underlines the manner this pass-first defense was constructed to play the modern way. Dave Hyde, Sun-Sentinel.com, "Hyde: Dolphins did all they wanted this offseason — but will it work? | Commentary," 14 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The books are marked with underlines and checks in Wharton’s hand. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "New England museums to visit this summer and fall," 4 July 2018 There might be multiple exclamation points, or several underlines, and that number will usually land somewhere in the 90s or high 80s. Michael Austin, chicagotribune.com, "Not everyone's a fan of wine scores, but there's a way to use them," 25 Apr. 2018 The taillamps remain in the same location but have been restyled to feature a slim, lighted underline. Tony Markovich, Car and Driver, "2019 Jeep Cherokee: The Baby Grand," 17 Jan. 2018 And so a quote from the paper, rules tend to use formulas or equations for the policy instrument at least as a guide – and those underlines are mine, not John’s – when making decisions. WSJ, "Transcript: John Taylor Presentation and Q&A at Boston Fed," 15 Oct. 2017 This video below underlines just how far he's come. Gregory Krieg, CNN, "Jeff Sessions is doing what President Trump can't," 6 Sep. 2017 There is no question — underline no question — that the Russian government interfered in the U.S. election last year, and Moscow continues to meddle in the Democratic processes of our friends and allies. James Hohmann, Washington Post, "The Daily 202: Why conservatives loved Trump’s U.N. speech so much," 20 Sep. 2017

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


1721, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1886, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for underline

Last Updated

7 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for underline

The first known use of underline was in 1721

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More Definitions for underline



English Language Learners Definition of underline

: to draw a line under (something)

: to emphasize (something) : to show the importance of (something)


un·der·line | \ˈən-dər-ˌlīn \
underlined; underlining

Kids Definition of underline

1 : to draw a line under

2 : emphasize The poor results underline our need to try harder.

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Comments on underline

What made you want to look up underline? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


evasion of direct action or statement

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