un·​der·​wing | \ ˈən-dər-ˌwiŋ How to pronounce underwing (audio) \

Definition of underwing

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : one of the posterior wings of an insect
2 : 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

3 : the underside of a bird's wing



Definition of underwing (Entry 2 of 2)

: placed or growing underneath the wing underwing rockets

Examples of underwing in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun 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 Each jet carried an underwing pod designed to collect particles from the atmosphere. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, 7 Sep. 2017 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective But the droppable tanks reportedly interfered with underwing munitions. David Axe, Forbes, 27 Apr. 2021

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


1535, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1896, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of underwing was in 1535

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Last Updated

7 Aug 2021

Cite this Entry

“Underwing.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/underwing. Accessed 16 Sep. 2021.

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