un·​do·​ing | \ ˌən-ˈdü-iŋ \

Definition of undoing

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

Keep scrolling for more

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.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web

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 Even a cleverly partisan gerrymander contains the seeds of its own undoing as political coalitions change. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "The Gerrymander Excuse Implodes," 16 Nov. 2018 Whatever domestic political considerations that Trump had in mind when setting up the meeting with Putin, the president succeeded today in undoing months of work by his administration and its supporters outside the White House. Chris Stirewalt, Fox News, "Trump scores on his own goal," 16 July 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.

See More

First Known Use of undoing

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about undoing

Statistics for undoing

Last Updated

8 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for undoing

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

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 \

Kids Definition of undoing

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

Keep scrolling for more

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).


marked by fawning attentiveness

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

What did you just call me?! A Quiz

  • rows-of-various-emoji
  • If a member of the audience describes your speech as bombastic, does that person mean it is:
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!