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 problems at Teva’s California facilities, though, are the latest in a string of revelations that underscore the reality that US factories also aren’t immune to quality problems. BostonGlobe.com, 5 Oct. 2021 The special counsel’s 27-page indictment is full of new, and damning, details that underscore how the Russia collusion tale was concocted and peddled by the Clinton campaign. The Editorial Board, WSJ, 17 Sep. 2021 Hers is just one in a sea of stories here that underscore the complications of the mammoth effort to extract both Afghans at risk and Americans who were stranded in Kabul and get them to safety. Washington Post, 24 Aug. 2021 Here, the 14 best moments from the 2020 Olympics that underscore what the international competition is really all about. Jenny Mccoy, SELF, 10 Aug. 2021 These are among the bevy of statistics that underscore the importance of parents’ keeping an eye on their child’s online activity and how Cyber Dive can help. Georgann Yara, The Arizona Republic, 18 June 2021 The intensifying struggle over democracy coincided with several other developments that underscore the primacy of this nation defining political theme in 2021. Stephen Collinson, CNN, 8 June 2021 McKinsey, in its survey, identifies several areas that underscore this newfound alignment and adoption. Jeffrey Ton, Forbes, 4 June 2021 But for those who weigh costs to orient their moral compass, a new paper from the International Monetary Fund offers numbers that underscore the importance of investing in global vaccines. Nicholas Kristof, Star Tribune, 29 May 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Studies in positive psychology and neuroscience underscore that joy is a prerequisite for and main ingredient in success. Amina Altai, Forbes, 18 Oct. 2021 Questions about the oil and gas industry’s future in Scotland underscore trends that have been visible for years. New York Times, 27 Sep. 2021 Passages like that one underscore Renkl’s sublime style. Danny Heitman, The Christian Science Monitor, 15 Sep. 2021 Recent sales in the high-end market underscore May's point. Neal Leitereg, Forbes, 30 Aug. 2021 Meals at Patowmack Farm underscore why chefs have always come to her, rather than the other way around. Washington Post, 13 Aug. 2021 And the latest data on the variant underscore the importance of getting a second dose for vaccines that require it: One dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine yields just 33% effectiveness against symptomatic disease, but two shots are 88% effective. Los Angeles Times, 10 June 2021 Composer Jan Hammer received a nod for outstanding achievement in music composition for a series (dramatic underscore). Paul Grein, Billboard, 30 July 2021 The footage is expected to give viewers new perspectives into what first responders experienced and further underscore to the public the horrors of the day. Melissa Mahtani, CNN, 27 July 2021

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

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The first known use of underscore was in 1771

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Statistics for underscore

Last Updated

21 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Underscore.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/underscore. Accessed 25 Oct. 2021.

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More Definitions for underscore



English Language Learners Definition of underscore

: to emphasize (something) or show the importance of (something)
: to draw a line under (something) : underline


un·​der·​score | \ ˈən-dər-ˌskȯr How to pronounce underscore (audio) \
underscored; underscoring

Kids Definition of underscore

More from Merriam-Webster on underscore

Nglish: Translation of underscore for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of underscore for Arabic Speakers


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