un·​der·​line | \ ˈən-dər-ˌlīn How to pronounce underline (audio) , ˌən-dər-ˈlīn How to pronounce underline (audio) \
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 How to pronounce underline (audio) \

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

New language is underlined while old law being removed is struck through. Patrick O'donnell, cleveland.com, "New state “takeover” plan would start intervention early for schools with F grades," 12 June 2019 All his previous wins in F1 have come from outside the top three in qualifying, underlining his reputation as the most accomplished passer in the sport. Paul Gittings, CNN, "Chinese GP: Daniel Ricciardo wins after tactical masterstroke by Red Bull," 15 Apr. 2018 Nelsons treated the piece as a five-movement symphony, keeping it under tight control and maintaining clarity even in the densest passages while underlining Widmann’s sly wit. Jeffrey Gantz, BostonGlobe.com, "Nelsons and the BSO shine in Widmann and Richard Strauss," 31 Mar. 2018 There are more than a dozen figures milling around the mansion, and each of them gets a distinctive musical world to inhabit; the Met’s casting, absolutely first-rate across the board, only underlines the point. Joshua Kosman, San Francisco Chronicle, "‘The Exterminating Angel’ dazzles in PBS broadcast," 27 Mar. 2018 Normally the flight computers would initiate such a maneuver, but the prominence of the escape system handle underlines its importance. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, "SpaceX reveals the controls of its Dragon spacecraft for the first time," 14 Aug. 2018 The quote underlines this based-on-a-true-story movie. Matt Blitz, Popular Mechanics, "The True Story of 'Hidden Figures' and the Women Who Crunched the Numbers for NASA," 3 Feb. 2017 Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu appeared set to fend off a strong election challenge by a former army chief, after a hard-fought race that underlined Israel’s rightward drift and tested voters’ support for a leader facing corruption allegations. Dov Lieber, WSJ, "Netanyahu Holds Edge in Tight Israeli Election," 10 Apr. 2019 At its fall 2019 show during Milan Fashion Week, the label underlined its track record on outerwear with a line-up of statement coats that weren't kidding around, sometimes in vibrant hues of blue, cerulean and bright yellow. Erik Maza, Town & Country, "Nancy Pelosi's Red Fire Coat is Officially Available to Buy," 14 Mar. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

But the trio of artists at Wednesday’s fund-raiser underline Taylor’s interest in blues and folk artists as well as jazz. Jeremy D. Goodwin, BostonGlobe.com, "Benefit show is a thank-you to Fred Taylor and all that jazz," 13 June 2019 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

17 Jun 2019

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 How to pronounce underline (audio) \
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).


incapable of being surmounted or overcome

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