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un·​der·​wing ˈən-dər-ˌwiŋ How to pronounce underwing (audio)
: one of the posterior wings of an insect
: any of various noctuid moths (especially genus Catocala) that have the hind wings banded with contrasting colors (such as red and black)

called also underwing moth

: the underside of a bird's wing


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: placed or growing underneath the wing
underwing rockets

Examples of underwing in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web
Another new element of the Next Gen car is an underwing, a series of panels underneath the car to make a single flat surface to help with aerodynamics and increase stability in traffic. Michelle R. Martinelli, USA TODAY, 17 Feb. 2022 Adult spotted lanternfly has two sets of wings, and the underwing has a red color with spots on the outer wings. Sarah Brookbank, The Enquirer, 27 July 2021 The 2022 car also features a new underwing and diffuser that dramatically alter the aerodynamic forces drivers rely on. Morgan Korn, ABC News, 5 May 2021 The Claudina butterfly’s underwings are intricately patterned. Meilan Solly, Smithsonian Magazine, 29 Apr. 2020 This rainforest butterfly has vivid crimson patches on its upper wings, but its underwings are arguably even more spectacular. Meilan Solly, Smithsonian Magazine, 29 Apr. 2020 For instance, initial evidence suggests that European robins, yellow underwing moths, and perhaps even cricket frogs can do so. Fiona McMillan, National Geographic, 4 Nov. 2019 Easily identifiable by its gray, spotted wings and bright red underwings, the insect could threaten billions of dollars worth of crops in Pennsylvania, such as apples, grapes, and hops. Jennifer Leman, Popular Mechanics, 20 Sep. 2019 Genes for yellow- and red- underwings remain separated east and west of the Rockies. Steven Austad, AL.com, 17 Feb. 2018
Multi-engine maritime patrol airplanes and bombers have considerable underwing space where several large cruise missiles like the LRASM and JASSM can be carried. Eric Tegler, Forbes, 29 Feb. 2024 But the droppable tanks reportedly interfered with underwing munitions. David Axe, Forbes, 27 Apr. 2021

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'underwing.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use


1535, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1896, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of underwing was in 1535

Dictionary Entries Near underwing

Cite this Entry

“Underwing.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/underwing. Accessed 27 May. 2024.

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