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

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Synonyms & Antonyms for underscore

Synonyms: Verb

Antonyms: Verb

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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The numbers underscore how the company keeps losing market share: Macy's rivals like T.J. Maxx, Target, Amazon, and Ulta Beauty have continued to thrive. Phil Wahba, Fortune, "Macy’s to shutter 125 more stores," 5 Feb. 2020 But these new results, along with past studies, underscore that’s not the case. National Geographic, "You may have more Neanderthal DNA than you think," 30 Jan. 2020 Experts underscore the importance of quickly identifying new threats. Ken Alltucker, USA TODAY, "US learned from Ebola but is 'nowhere near as prepared' as needed if coronavirus outbreak happened here," 29 Jan. 2020 And the significant gaps in gender, racial, and socioeconomic diversity in scientific fields underscore the deep inequalities in science education. Eduardo Cetlin, STAT, "Science education needs a reboot. LabXchange can help," 22 Jan. 2020 The substantial differences between each party’s approach underscore the fact that movement on nearly every legislative issue has been hampered by discord between the parties under split government. cleveland, "Liberal group pushing gerrymandering reform targeting several Flyover states: The Flyover," 17 Jan. 2020 And soaring tensions between the United States and Iran underscore the economic and security benefits of America's oil boom. Matt Egan, CNN, "Bill De Blasio and Sadiq Khan want your city to dump fossil fuels," 9 Jan. 2020 The two scenarios underscore that the digital divide isn’t just between urban and rural. Judith Kohler, The Denver Post, "Tired of waiting for broadband, rural communities are tapping grants, partnerships to get modern internet," 30 Dec. 2019 Twitter’s and Facebook’s announcements underscore the fact that misinformation concerns aren’t limited to the US and Russia. BostonGlobe.com, "Twitter fights interference, deletes 5,929 Saudi accounts - The Boston Globe," 21 Dec. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Mills’ memories of his early encounters with the late NBA legend underscore why Bryant’s death in a helicopter crash Sunday has rocked the league to its core. Jeff Mcdonald, ExpressNews.com, "Spurs’ Patty Mills, Rudy Gay recall Kobe Bryant’s encouragement," 30 Jan. 2020 It had been sent to a Yahoo email address almost identical to JK’s real one, only the fake one had an underscore between her first and last names instead of a dot. Justin Rohrlich, Quartz, "Your worst office romance was never this bad," 15 Jan. 2020 As Yemen's ongoing outage underscores, though, the fallback options for some regions are more tenuous. Lily Hay Newman, Wired, "Cut Undersea Cable Plunges Yemen Into Days-Long Internet Outage," 13 Jan. 2020 The pics were both nominated for dialogue/ADR, effects/Foley and music underscore. Carolyn Giardina, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Joker,' 'Once Upon a Time in Hollywood' Lead Sound Editors' Golden Reel Nominations," 16 Dec. 2019 Tannehill’s success and Gase’s failing underscore that. Dave Hyde, sun-sentinel.com, "Hyde: Tannehill’s success, Gase’s failure and lesson for these Dolphins | Commentary," 4 Dec. 2019 The huge fourth-quarter write-down underscores the challenge posed by rising production that has prevented energy prices from increasing sharply during a time of increasing global demand. BostonGlobe.com, "Wall Street capped a wobbly day Wednesday with modest gains for stocks, snapping a two-day losing streak for the S&P 500.," 12 Dec. 2019 Though Abt considers it a malign narrative, stressing that a major component of today’s violent-crime problem is black-on-black underscores the tragic irony of African-American victimhood. Barry Latzer, National Review, "The Need to Discuss Black-on-Black Crime," 5 Dec. 2019 The Encore re-edit underscores Coppola’s unsentimental awareness of the complexities in American culture and the ambition of citizens confronting its system. Armond White, National Review, "Coppola’s Cotton Club Encore Remakes American Entertainment," 23 Oct. 2019

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.

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First Known Use of underscore


1771, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1901, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for underscore

Time Traveler

The first known use of underscore was in 1771

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Statistics for underscore

Last Updated

7 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Underscore.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/underscore?pronunciation&lang=en_us&dir=u&file=unders02. Accessed 16 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for underscore


How to pronounce underscore (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of underscore

: to emphasize (something) or show the importance of (something)
: to draw a line under (something)


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

Kids Definition of underscore

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