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 Conference Board data, however, underscore a narrowing pay gap between workers age 20 to 24, largely members of Gen Z, who are typically landing their first jobs, and more experienced 25- to 34-year-olds, who fall in the millennial generation. Paul Davidson, USA TODAY, "Hey Millennials, look out below! Gen Zers may already be catching up in the salary race," 12 Nov. 2019 Two plays from Week 7 underscore the breadth of Roman’s playbook. Jonas Shaffer, baltimoresun.com, "‘He can get medieval or he can finesse’: Why Greg Roman’s Ravens offense is built to take on the Patriots," 1 Nov. 2019 The fundraisers underscore the challenge of content moderation on Facebook’s massive scale, where hundreds of millions of people post billions of times each week. NBC News, "Anti-vaccination groups still crowdfunding on Facebook despite crackdown," 11 Oct. 2019 Population numbers underscore the warbler's turnaround (Greenwire, 11 April, 2018). Michael Doyle, Science | AAAS, "After 50-year conservation effort, songbird flies off U.S. endangered species list," 8 Oct. 2019 This set of actions underscored to me that White House officials understood the gravity of what had transpired in the call. Abby Vesoulis, Time, "Read the Entire Declassified Version of the Trump Whistleblower Complaint," 26 Sep. 2019 This set of actions underscored to me that White House officials understood the gravity of what had transpired in the call. CBS News, "Read the unclassified version of the whistleblower complaint against Trump," 26 Sep. 2019 This set of actions underscored to me that White House officials understood the gravity of what had transpired in the call. Ephrat Livni, Quartz, "The White House knew Trump’s Ukraine call was problematic, and tried to hide it," 26 Sep. 2019 This set of actions underscored to me that White House officials understood the gravity of what had transpired in the call. Charlie Savage, New York Times, "8 Takeaways From the Whistle-Blower Complaint," 26 Sep. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun 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 That the Fed is considering a rate cut at a moment when the US economy is strong and job market gains are solid underscores Powell and his colleagues’ concern about the future of a record economic expansion. Matt Phillips, BostonGlobe.com, "Fed Chair Powell Signals Openness to Rate Cut, and Stock Market Rallies," 10 July 2019 Nevertheless, the noise created after at least two below-the-radar meetings became known underscores Marechal’s potentially pivotal role in the power politics of the French right. Washington Post, "Rising French far-right star resurfaces and flirts with fire," 8 July 2019 The lineup for the 2019 edition — running Oct. 31 through Nov. 11 — underscores Andreadakis’ outlook. Alex Ritman, The Hollywood Reporter, "Thessaloniki Fest Turns 60: Why Organizers Aim to Be "More Dynamic" Toward Cinema's New Era," 7 Sep. 2019 The Musical, which hyperactively slices through over 80 songs in a dizzying array of Top 40 hits to create a theoretically cohesive Broadway underscore for a new stage production based on the fever-dream movie? Alex Suskind, EW.com, "EW Pop Shop: Lana Del Rey is blue, a rare Lauryn Hill feature, and more songs you'll love," 30 Aug. 2019 What conveys the emotional underscore of this moment? Nina Metz, chicagotribune.com, "What does a music supervisor do? Northwestern alum talks ‘Pose,’ ‘Claws,’ ‘The Americans’," 31 July 2019 That specialists are even more sought-after underscores how hot that market has become. Shawn Tully, Fortune, "Trouble Seeing a Specialist? Here’s What’s Driving the ‘Doctor Draught’," 15 July 2019 Sorry, not sorry': Border bill battle underscores Dem civil war Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn. Fox News, "Trump blasts media over 'exaggerated' border detention center reports; Dem civil war over border bill," 8 July 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

14 Nov 2019

Cite this Entry

“Underscore.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/underscores. Accessed 21 November 2019.

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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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Comments on underscore

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