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

Antonyms: Verb

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Examples of underline in a Sentence

Verb His name was underlined in the book. The accident underlines our need for better safety procedures.
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb As if to underline the significance of the moment, the orchestra made a dramatic European-style entrance, converging on the stage all at once and sparking from the crowd an instant ovation, one that seemed unusually heartfelt. BostonGlobe.com, 13 July 2021 For that team to once again rise up and into relevance will only underline the fact that most of the league's teams have substantial talents at their disposal. Morten Jensen, Forbes, 26 June 2021 Mirrors underline the characters’ double natures, and pitch-black darkness encroaches on their domestic tranquility. Katie Walsh, Los Angeles Times, 23 June 2021 For housing advocates, Princeton's findings underline why a federal moratorium on evictions, imposed last year by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, should not only be extended past its current June 30 deadline but also strengthened. Irina Ivanova, CBS News, 23 June 2021 But the company’s challenges underline why competing on cost is hard for a startup to do, particularly amid rapid inflation in raw-material prices. Stephen Wilmot, WSJ, 14 June 2021 Although Americans across racial and gender groups are gaining jobs — and women actually made greater gains than men in May — those persistent shortfalls underline that a long road remains before the labor market returns to its former strength. Patricia Cohen, New York Times, 4 June 2021 For Birmingham startup Linq, more than a year of long-distance networking helped underline the need for its products. William Thornton | Wthornton@al.com, al, 2 June 2021 Research and evidence should underline every decision made for our education system. Jim Cowen, Forbes, 27 May 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Experts and advocates say the question marks remaining in the Indianapolis case underline what may be limits to Indiana’s gun policy. Washington Post, 19 Apr. 2021 Yet last month’s abandonment of plans for a Time Out Market in its home city London and a subsequent cash call underline how hard the media group’s culinary destination arm has been hit. Mark Faithfull, Forbes, 6 Apr. 2021 That double-underlines and triple-circles, in red ink, the most pressing need for this group: someone who can score consistently beyond the Marchand-Bergeron-David Pastrnak trio. BostonGlobe.com, 14 Dec. 2019 As a brief scene-setting prologue showing Banks watching kids playing football underlines, skill on the football field has always signified freedom to him, the feeling that nothing could fence him in or keep him down. Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times, 8 Aug. 2019 As a brief scene-setting prologue showing Banks watching kids playing football underlines, skill on the football field has always signified freedom to him, the feeling that nothing could fence him in or keep him down. San Diego Union-Tribune, 8 Aug. 2019 Hoover remembers his wife kept meticulous work notes filled with highlights and underlines. Elvia Malagón, chicagotribune.com, 6 July 2019 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, 13 June 2019 The books are marked with underlines and checks in Wharton’s hand. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 4 July 2018

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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Time Traveler for underline

Time Traveler

The first known use of underline was in 1721

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Statistics for underline

Last Updated

27 Jul 2021

Cite this Entry

“Underline.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/underline. Accessed 30 Jul. 2021.

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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.

More from Merriam-Webster on underline

Nglish: Translation of underline for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of underline for Arabic Speakers


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