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underdog

[uhn-der-dawg, -dog] /ˈʌn dərˌdɔg, -ˌdɒg/
noun
1.
a person who is expected to lose in a contest or conflict.
2.
a victim of social or political injustice:
The underdogs were beginning to organize their protests.
Origin
1875-1880
1875-80, Americanism; under- + dog1
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for underdog
  • The underdog creams a top-ranked opponent-and the crowd goes wild.
  • If your heart is with the underdog than you should make a real effort to find out why he's the underdog.
  • We should know who the underdog is and how swiftly that character will get obliterated in the absence of a miracle.
  • Boxed in, the underdog champ remained motionless and let his clock run.
  • Either the favorite has covered or the underdog won outright.
  • They are still the underdog-though not, perhaps, for much longer.
  • Reducing fees and the option to file provisional applications help the underdog without hindering the big companies.
  • For a genuine underdog, the advantage of an uphill election is that no one expects you to win.
  • There's too much at stake these days, apple are no longer the underdog, they're the big target.
  • Because it does encourage and embrace the underdog, as opposed to being cut down if you don't look a certain way.
British Dictionary definitions for underdog

underdog

/ˈʌndəˌdɒɡ/
noun
1.
the competitor least likely to win a fight or contest
2.
a person in adversity or in a position of inferiority
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
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Word Origin and History for underdog
n.

"the beaten dog in a fight," 1887, from under + dog (n.). Cf. top dog "dominant person in a situation or hierarchy."

I'm a poor underdog
But tonight I will bark
With the great Overdog
That romps through the dark.

[from "Canis Major," Robert Frost, 1928]

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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