[uhn-der-mahyn or especially for 1, 2, 4, uhn-der-mahyn]
- to injure or destroy by insidious activity or imperceptible stages, sometimes tending toward a sudden dramatic effect.
- to attack by indirect, secret, or underhand means; attempt to subvert by stealth.
- to make an excavation under; dig or tunnel beneath, as a military stronghold.
- to weaken or cause to collapse by removing underlying support, as by digging away or eroding the foundation.
Origin of undermine
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for undermine
The most dangerous attacks are those that undermine your perceived strength.Will Chris Christie Regret His Cowboy Hug?
January 5, 2015
The ACLU and its allies are trying to undermine the holiday with lawsuits and annoying billboards.Why I’m for the War on Christmas
December 23, 2014
We “undermine” our nature every time we use glasses or medicine, after all.Hey, Creeps, ‘Compliments’ Are Harassment, Too
November 5, 2014
His detractors tried to undermine his standing with Reagan, but he had support from an unlikely source—hard-line conservatives.How the Reagan White House Bungled Its Response to Iran-Contra Revelations
November 3, 2014
To undermine the Muslim Brotherhood the Saudis first supported more radical Salafi Islamist groups in Syria and in the region.Obama’s Arab Backers May Draw the U.S. Deep Into the Mideast Quagmire
September 25, 2014
Such association is enough to undermine the morals of a saint, in a week or two.Ned Myers
James Fenimore Cooper
It is not in the power of events to undermine the felicity of the virtuous.Imogen
Or, more probably, pity had not come in to undermine the foundations.Rosinante to the Road Again
John Dos Passos
Strafford, The wind that saps these walls can undermine Your camp in Scotland, too.Browning's England
Helen Archibald Clarke
The boys borrowed these, and went to work to undermine the big stone.Mark Twain, A Biography, 1835-1910, Complete
Albert Bigelow Paine
- (of the sea, wind, etc) to wear away the bottom or base of (land, cliffs, etc)
- to weaken gradually or insidiouslytheir insults undermined her confidence
- to tunnel or dig beneath
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Word Origin and History for undermine
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper