un·​do·​ing | \ ˌən-ˈdü-iŋ How to pronounce undoing (audio) \

Definition of undoing

1 : an act of loosening : unfastening
2 : ruin also : a cause of ruin greed was to prove his undoing

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Examples of undoing in a Sentence

My quick temper was my undoing. His quick temper helped lead to his undoing. The incident resulted in her undoing.
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Recent Examples on the Web

These groups have pushed back religiously on the undoing of this policy by this president. Fox News, "Democrats target SCOTUS candidate Amy Coney Barrett," 6 July 2018 Eventually Franklin’s wicked pen proved his undoing in his native Boston. Sam Kean, WSJ, "‘Young Benjamin Franklin’ Review: Poor Richard Sows His Oats," 17 Sep. 2018 Meanwhile, not thinking to get a health inspection for their stand reportedly proved to be the undoing of two Texas sisters, aged 7 and 8, trying to raise money for Father's Day two summers ago. Kate Gibson, CBS News, "Your kid busted for selling lemonade? Country Time wants to help," 13 June 2018 Just as Lonzo Ball’s impressive showing in Summer League last year wasn’t indicative of a breakout rookie campaign, an objectively rough game in Summer League won’t be the undoing of Trae Young. Andrew Joseph, For The Win, "Trae Young got off to a dreadful start in his first NBA Summer League game," 2 July 2018 After the hubristic purchase in 2007 of ABN AMRO, a Dutch lender, that led to its undoing, RBS was briefly the world’s biggest bank, with assets of over £2trn. The Economist, "Britain’s government cuts its losses on Royal Bank of Scotland," 5 June 2018 Now Mark Zuckerberg wants to expedite the undoing of all that possibility. Richard Morgan, chicagotribune.com, "Facebook doesn't care if you find love — it just wants to be your ‘click-bae’," 3 May 2018 Trump’s promise to protect evangelicals is so delicious and tempting that, like Adam and Eve, my sisters and brothers have reached for an apple that could lead to their undoing. Peggy Wehmeyer, Washington Post, "Why this former religion television reporter is considering divorcing her evangelical family," 13 Apr. 2018 But the shopping spree didn't stop there, and Esmark's biggest acquisition led to its undoing. Morgan Watkins, The Courier-Journal, "Bevin 'unbelievably confident' in state-funded Braidy Industries CEO with mixed record," 18 Mar. 2018

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

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for undoing

Last Updated

30 Apr 2019

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Time Traveler for undoing

The first known use of undoing was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for undoing



English Language Learners Definition of undoing

: something that causes someone's failure, ruin, etc.
: a state of failure, ruin, etc.


un·​do·​ing | \ ˌən-ˈdü-iŋ How to pronounce undoing (audio) \

Kids Definition of undoing

: a cause of ruin or failure My quick temper was my undoing.

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More from Merriam-Webster on undoing

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with undoing

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for undoing

Spanish Central: Translation of undoing

Nglish: Translation of undoing for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of undoing for Arabic Speakers

Comments on undoing

What made you want to look up undoing? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


incapable of being surmounted or overcome

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