verb (used with object), un·der·worked, un·der·work·ing.

to do less work on than is necessary or required: to underwork an idea.
to employ inadequately: He underworks his mind and overworks his feet.

verb (used without object), un·der·worked, un·der·work·ing.

to do less work than is normal or proper: He is fat because he underworks and overeats.

Origin of underwork

First recorded in 1495–1505; under- + work
Related formsun·der·work·er, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for underwork

Historical Examples of underwork

  • But Lablache, its owner, was never one to underwork his men.

  • The stage was of rough boards upon an underwork of upright barrels and trestles.

    A Gentleman Player

    Robert Neilson Stephens

  • The pinnacles and upper set-off of the two centre buttresses in the figure were added by Wykeham to Edingdon's underwork.

  • In sprig H the underwork consists of stitching in soft cotton, over which thick silk is embroidered in bullion-stitch.

    Art in Needlework

    Lewis F. Day

  • But while Marx thus objects to piecework because it leads to overwork, he objects to it also because it leads to underwork.