[ uhn-der-hand ]
See synonyms for underhand on Thesaurus.com
  1. executed with the hand below the level of the shoulder and the palm turned upward and forward: an underhand delivery of a ball.

  2. underhanded (def. 1): an underhand deal with the chief of police.

  1. with the hand below the level of the shoulder and the palm turned upward and forward: to bowl underhand.

  2. secretly; stealthily; slyly.

Origin of underhand

First recorded before 900; 1530–40 for def. 2; Middle English adverb under honde “in one's possession, in one's charge, secretly,” Old English under hand, under hond(e) “in one's possession, in one's subjection, in one's power”; see origin at under-, hand

Other words for underhand

Words Nearby underhand

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use underhand in a sentence

  • His avarice was disgusting beyond words, and with avarice went a tendency to underhand dealing, harshness, and malice.

    Napoleon's Marshals | R. P. Dunn-Pattison
  • The result of his thinking forced the conclusion that Gregory was innocent of any underhand work.

    Motor Matt's "Century" Run | Stanley R. Matthews
  • By such false pretenses and underhand proceedings at Florence, the people of Rome, as well as their heroic friends, were deceived.

    Rule of the Monk | Giuseppe Garibaldi
  • You work on an underhand system of policy which will be turned against you, for France will be tired of your shuffling.

    Z. Marcas | Honore de Balzac
  • "This seems to be Dirk Hawley's day for underhand work," muttered Chub.

British Dictionary definitions for underhand


/ (ˈʌndəˌhænd) /

adjectiveAlso: underhanded
  1. clandestine, deceptive, or secretive

  2. sport another word for underarm

  1. in an underhand manner or style

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