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

And the latest data, on a BACE drug from Biogen, may only underline growing fears in Alzheimer’s research. Damian Garde, STAT, "Biogen’s Alzheimer’s drug poses an existential question," 6 June 2018 Toward the end of the film, ICE becomes involved in some of the cases that Judge Serita’s court is handling, and their imposition underlines some of the illogicalities that the court is trying to circumvent. Chloe Schama, Vogue, "A New Documentary Highlights a Novel—and Revolutionary—Way to Process Human Trafficking Victims," 23 Apr. 2018 The fact that Meghan is joining in several official royal appearances underlines how quickly she is being acclimatized to the family and its public roles. Simon Perry, PEOPLE.com, "Meghan Markle Just Announced Her Biggest Royal Date Yet — with the Queen!," 2 Mar. 2018 The weighty, intense Disasterpeace score underlines the film’s sense of dread, but mostly, Mitchell gets a long series of unsettling moments out of simply having someone in the background of a shot moving toward the foreground. Tasha Robinson, The Verge, "The new horror film canon (and where to stream it)," 1 Nov. 2018 Say, Lamar Alexander, to me, underlined what could be happening to the president. Fox News, "The life and legacy of Sen. John McCain," 28 Aug. 2018 No doubt, the playoffs underlined that the Heat need experienced scoring and players who can create their own shots. Dave Hyde, Sun-Sentinel.com, "Hyde5: Would Carmelo Anthony really help the Heat?," 9 July 2018 Krzanich’s departure underlined how major corporations are taking a stricter stance toward office romances involving executives rather than merely discouraging them. James F. Peltz, latimes.com, "Intel CEO Brian Krzanich resigns over relationship with employee," 21 June 2018 South Korea's president, Moon, underlined the historic nature of the meeting. Author: Mark Landler, Anchorage Daily News, "As Trump-Kim summit nears, president is confident, but wide gaps remain," 11 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

2 Dec 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).


the figure or shape of a crescent moon

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