• synonyms


[verb uhn-der-skawr, -skohr, uhn-der-skawr, -skohr; noun uhn-der-skawr, -skohr]
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verb (used with object), un·der·scored, un·der·scor·ing.
  1. to mark with a line or lines underneath; underline, as for emphasis.
  2. to stress; emphasize: The recent tragedy underscores the danger of disregarding safety rules.
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  1. a line drawn beneath something written or printed.
  2. music for a film soundtrack; background for a film or stage production.
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Origin of underscore

First recorded in 1765–75; under- + score
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for underscore

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • This is not, repeat, underscore, not an intervention in planetary government.

    A Slave is a Slave

    Henry Beam Piper

  • So we underscore them, putting a single score under k, and a double one under k′.

    Symbolic Logic

    Lewis Carroll

  • I should like to underscore this last sentence, my dears, in view of what comes after.

    Richard Carvel, Complete

    Winston Churchill

  • I underscore the word “hotter,” to denote the prevalent theory.

    The Indian in his Wigwam

    Henry R. Schoolcraft

  • Underscore all of the adjectives in the following quotation.

    Plain English

    Marian Wharton

British Dictionary definitions for underscore


verb (ˌʌndəˈskɔː) (tr)
  1. to draw or score a line or mark under
  2. to stress or reinforce
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noun (ˈʌndəˌskɔː)
  1. a line drawn under written matter
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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 underscore


1771, "to draw a line under," from under + score (v.). The figurative sense of "to emphasize" is attested from 1891. Noun meaning "a line drawn below (something)" is recorded from 1901.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper