[ uhn-der-mahy-ning ]
See synonyms for undermining on Thesaurus.com
  1. the act or process of injuring, attacking, or destroying something or someone indirectly or by imperceptible degrees, often leading to a dramatic collapse: The undermining of Scottish Gaelic as a viable language resulted not from decrees, but from a gradual weakening of independent Scottish institutions.

  2. the act or process of weakening something or causing it to collapse by removing its underlying support, as by erosion: During the heavy rains, blocked sewers caused the flooding of the basement and the undermining of the wall by water.

  1. the act of digging or tunneling underneath something, as a military stronghold: The siege works were now close enough to allow the undermining of some of the bastions of the fortress.

  1. weakening something or someone gradually or indirectly: Seating students in rows, so they cannot see each other’s faces, has an undermining effect on their engagement.

  2. digging or tunneling underneath something, or removing or eroding its underlying support: The land along the shoreline collapsed because of undermining waves and currents.

Origin of undermining

First recorded in 1350–1400; undermin(e) + -ing1 for the noun senses; undermin(e) + -ing2 for the adjective senses

Other words from undermining

  • un·der·min·ing·ly, adverb

Words Nearby undermining

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

How to use undermining in a sentence