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See more synonyms for underling on Thesaurus.com
  1. a subordinate, especially one of slight importance.
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Origin of underling

1125–75; Middle English. See under-, -ling1

Synonyms for underling

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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for underling

attendant, gofer, slave, helper, deputy, servant, assistant, lackey, aide, serf, minion, second, flunky, peon, scrub, inferior

Examples from the Web for underling

Contemporary Examples of underling

Historical Examples of underling

  • He is an underling: I have nothing to do with him; I will speak with his master.

    Essays, Second Series

    Ralph Waldo Emerson

  • It was the mistake of some underling, turning me down, after Austin's death.

    The Forbidden Trail

    Honor Willsie

  • Sira Nal's checks paled slightly with rage as he stared at his underling.

    The Players

    Everett B. Cole

  • For a long minute, Morton stared on at his underling whom he had betrayed.

    Making People Happy

    Thompson Buchanan

  • Clever he was certainly and no underling, as they had gathered from de Lestis.

British Dictionary definitions for underling


  1. a subordinate or lackey
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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 underling


late 12c., from under + diminutive suffix -ling.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper