[uhn-der-dawg, -dog]
a person who is expected to lose in a contest or conflict.
a victim of social or political injustice: The underdogs were beginning to organize their protests.

1875–80, Americanism; under- + dog1

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World English Dictionary
underdog (ˈʌndəˌdɒɡ)
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 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

"the beaten dog in a fight," 1887, from under + dog. Cf. top dog "dominant person in a situation or hierarchy."
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
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.
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