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[uhn-der-hand] /ˈʌn dərˌhænd/
not open and aboveboard; secret and crafty or dishonorable:
an underhand deal with the chief of police.
executed with the hand below the level of the shoulder and the palm turned upward and forward:
an underhand delivery of a ball.
with the hand below the level of the shoulder and the palm turned upward and forward:
to bowl underhand.
secretly; stealthily; slyly.
Origin of underhand
before 900; 1530-40 for def 1; Middle English under hande (adv.) under rule, Old English underhand. See under-, hand
1. stealthy, sly, clandestine, surreptitious. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for underhand
  • Shooting a basketball underhand gives your shot far better arc and spin.
  • The darts are intended to be grasped by the rod and thrown underhand toward a target.
  • Strike an object with an underhand and a side orientation.
  • The object is to throw the medicine ball back and forth over the net using a variety of overhead, underhand and side throws.
  • Second, underhand strike ball to varied heights targets on a wall at a given distance.
  • Third, underhand serve a ball over a net at a lowered height from varied distances.
  • Hold a pair of dumbbells with an underhand grip, so that palms face up.
  • It is the owner's responsibility to underhand the irrigation design.
  • The pitched ball may be thrown in an overhand or underhand motion.
  • Students should pitch ten underhand pitches to the target.
British Dictionary definitions for underhand


clandestine, deceptive, or secretive
(sport) another word for underarm
in an underhand manner or style
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 underhand

Old English under hand "in subjection," from under + hand. Sense of "secret, stealthy, surreptitious" first recorded 1530s. For sense development, cf. Middle Dutch onderhanden "by degrees, slowly," Dutch onderhandsch "secret, private." The adjective is attested from 1540s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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