undermine

EnglishEdit

EtymologyEdit

From under- +‎ mine.

PronunciationEdit

VerbEdit

undermine (third-person singular simple present undermines, present participle undermining, simple past and past participle undermined)

  1. To dig underneath (something), to make a passage or for destructive or military purposes; to sap. [from 14th c.]
    • 2009, Diarmaid MacCulloch, A History of Christianity, Penguin 2010, p. 312:
      Martin, for instance, had on one occasion undermined a tree sacred to old gods, then stood in the path of its fall, but forced it to fall elsewhere by making the sign of the Cross.
  2. (figuratively) To weaken or work against; to hinder, sabotage. [from 15th c.]
    • 2012 April 19, Josh Halliday, “Free speech haven or lawless cesspool – can the internet be civilised?”, the Guardian:
      The growing use of social media to spread anger and dissent in the Arab world has been hailed by western governments as one of the chief justifications for a completely unfettered internet. The US is reportedly funding the secret rollout of technology in Iran in an effort to undermine internet censors in the country.
    The war efforts were undermined by the constant bickering between the allies.

AntonymsEdit

TranslationsEdit

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External linksEdit

Last modified on 18 April 2014, at 05:29