un·​der·​score | \ ˈən-dər-ˌskȯr How to pronounce underscore (audio) \
underscored; underscoring; underscores

Definition of underscore

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to draw a line under : underline
2 : to make evident : emphasize, stress arrived early to underscore the importance of the occasion
3 : to provide (action on film) with accompanying music



Definition of underscore (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : a line drawn under a word or line especially for emphasis or to indicate intent to italicize
2 : music accompanying the action and dialogue of a film

Synonyms & Antonyms for underscore

Synonyms: Verb

Antonyms: Verb

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of underscore in a Sentence

Verb These failures underscore the difficulty of what we're attempting to do. The President's visit underscores the administration's commitment to free trade. She underscored the most important points.
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb To underscore Forrest’s belief, FFI has hired almost 1,000 people in the past year and installed energy industry leaders, including Mark Hutchins, the former president and CEO of General Electric Europe, to join FFI as CEO. David Jeans, Forbes, 21 June 2022 The main thrust is to underscore the institution’s eagerness to reconnect with its public after internal conflicts that arose before the coronavirus pandemic caused a management meltdown in the spring of 2020. Steven Litt, cleveland, 12 June 2022 Official pronouncements underscore China’s determination to stick to its zero-COVID policy. Amy Gunia, Time, 22 Apr. 2022 The questions underscore the complexity of California’s quest to become the first state in the nation to approve statewide reparations for slavery. Taryn Lunastaff Writer, Los Angeles Times, 28 Mar. 2022 These sobering numbers heavily underscore Kennedy’s mission to empower Black women in their financial wellness journey. Jasmine Browley, Essence, 17 Mar. 2022 Yet the Russian attacks in western Ukraine over the past two days underscore Mr. Putin’s continued determination to control the entire country, starting with Kyiv. New York Times, 13 Mar. 2022 These sentiments underscore a theme Morisseau intentionally injected into her telling of the Detroit auto industry’s toppling after remembering the national response and researching. Abbey White, The Hollywood Reporter, 19 Feb. 2022 In addition to Warwick, Bush, Benatar and Eurythmics, the repeat nominees this year underscore the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame’s efforts to represent an increasingly eclectic array of music-makers. George Varga, San Diego Union-Tribune, 2 Feb. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The vulnerability and the lack of a patch underscore a problem with third-party code libraries that has gotten worse over the past decade. Dan Goodin, Ars Technica, 3 May 2022 At the beginning of his career, Pusha’s rapping served as the flamboyant underscore to his brother Malice’s reflective storytelling. Sheldon Pearce, The New Yorker, 28 Apr. 2022 Through leveraging TikTok, underscore works’ artists have thrived during Covid-19. Annie Reuter, Forbes, 12 Apr. 2022 Reviews that are already trickling into Rotten Tomatoes underscore just how much this series is really freaking some people out. Andy Meek, BGR, 2 Mar. 2022 Clyburn's comments underscore frustrations and confusion expressed in Texas over the state's new restrictive election law as early voting in Texas' March 1 primary is underway. Shawna Mizelle, CNN, 15 Feb. 2022 But the clashing cultural responses to the pandemic underscore America's creed of individualism and broad suspicion of European-style collective responsibility. Stephen Collinson, CNN, 11 Jan. 2022 Initial findings of the NOACA project underscore that improving downtown streetscapes isn’t just about aesthetics. Steven Litt, cleveland, 14 Jan. 2022 Our planet is too dear and its future too terrifying, as the accelerated pace of species extinction and global deforestation underscore. New York Times, 23 Dec. 2021 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'underscore.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of underscore


1771, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1901, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Learn More About underscore

Time Traveler for underscore

Time Traveler

The first known use of underscore was in 1771

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near underscore




See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for underscore

Last Updated

23 Jun 2022

Cite this Entry

“Underscore.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/underscore. Accessed 25 Jun. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for underscore


un·​der·​score | \ ˈən-dər-ˌskȯr How to pronounce underscore (audio) \
underscored; underscoring

Kids Definition of underscore

More from Merriam-Webster on underscore

Nglish: Translation of underscore for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of underscore for Arabic Speakers


Test Your Vocabulary

Words Named After People

  • name tags
  • Namesake of the leotard, Jules Léotard had what profession?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!