un·​der·​ling | \ ˈən-dər-liŋ How to pronounce underling (audio) \

Definition of underling

: one who is under the orders of another : subordinate, inferior

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Synonyms & Antonyms for underling



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Examples of underling in a Sentence

He takes all the credit, but most of the hard work is done by his underlings. the real estate tycoon has a whole army of underlings to attend to the details
Recent Examples on the Web Pinkney has since told criminal investigators that his underling, the former jail director, essentially usurped his authority by going around him and speaking directly with Budish. Courtney Astolfi, cleveland, "Nominee for Cuyahoga County sheriff says he is getting conflicting instructions from County Council, county executive," 23 Feb. 2021 One underling in his party became convinced that a member of the Beard group was staring at his girlfriend. New York Times, "Thomas Verdillo, 77, Dies; Restaurateur Went from Red Sauce to Blue Ribbon," 11 Jan. 2021 The immediate reason for Ruby’s uncorked rage was that one underling had given herself a nasty knife cut. Jeff Winkler, The Atlantic, "The Art of Cooking While Everything Burns," 30 Dec. 2020 Sure, there’s ample humor in the show, about a countess smitten with an underling. Celia Wren, Washington Post, "Tickets are limited and temperatures are taken, but indoor theater in D.C. is back," 2 Nov. 2020 Trump’s commutation of Stone’s sentence was inevitable, in a way; the implicit oath of fealty between boss and underling cuts both ways. Matt Ford, The New Republic, "The Most Corrupt President in American History," 11 July 2020 The problem with canning the coach is the McCaskeys and their underlings will then have to hire someone new. Phil Rosenthal, chicagotribune.com, "Column: As hope fades for the Bears’ 100th season, it might be time for the McCaskey family to sell the team," 7 Nov. 2019 When there’s bad news, President Vladimir Putin’s underlings deliver it. Isabella Kwai, New York Times, "Coronavirus, Spain, New York: Your Tuesday Briefing," 31 Mar. 2020 At his firm, underlings are encouraged to be opinionated and openly debate higher-level managers, including Mr. Dalio. Rob Copeland, WSJ, "Ray Dalio Is Still Driving His $160 Billion Hedge-Fund Machine," 31 Jan. 2020

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

12th century, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for underling

Time Traveler

The first known use of underling was in the 12th century

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Statistics for underling

Last Updated

7 Mar 2021

Cite this Entry

“Underling.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/underling. Accessed 18 Apr. 2021.

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English Language Learners Definition of underling

disapproving : a person of low rank who works for a more powerful person

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