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See more synonyms for undergrowth on Thesaurus.com
  1. low-lying vegetation or small trees growing beneath larger trees; underbrush.
  2. the condition of being undergrown or undersized.
  3. short, fine hair underlying longer, outer wool or fur.
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Origin of undergrowth

First recorded in 1590–1600; under- + growth
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for undergrowth

Historical Examples

  • The stranger, whoever he was, had darted back in the undergrowth.

    The Rock of Chickamauga

    Joseph A. Altsheler

  • There was a tangle of undergrowth, and a heavy grove of palms.

    Things as They Are

    Amy Wilson-Carmichael

  • It has just shot out from that great clump of 163 undergrowth.

  • But the only reply was a furious crashing in the undergrowth.

    The Vagrant Duke

    George Gibbs

  • He held back the undergrowth again and peered into the depths.

British Dictionary definitions for undergrowth


  1. small trees, bushes, ferns, etc, growing beneath taller trees in a wood or forest
  2. the condition of being undergrown
  3. a growth of short fine hairs beneath longer ones; underfur
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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 undergrowth


c.1600, from under + growth.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper