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undermine

[uhn-der-mahyn or especially for 1, 2, 4, uhn-der-mahyn] /ˌʌn dərˈmaɪn or especially for 1, 2, 4, ˈʌn dərˌmaɪn/
verb (used with object), undermined, undermining.
1.
to injure or destroy by insidious activity or imperceptible stages, sometimes tending toward a sudden dramatic effect.
2.
to attack by indirect, secret, or underhand means; attempt to subvert by stealth.
3.
to make an excavation under; dig or tunnel beneath, as a military stronghold.
4.
to weaken or cause to collapse by removing underlying support, as by digging away or eroding the foundation.
Origin
1300-1350
1300-50; Middle English underminen. See under-, mine2
Related forms
underminer, noun
underminingly, adverb
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for undermined
  • Scientists say our ability to focus is being undermined by bursts of information from e-mail and other interruptions.
  • Then came the recession and a series of state budget cuts, which undermined the university's ambitions.
  • He notes that great scientific breakthroughs in the past have undermined humanity's belief that it is special.
  • The report cites numerous examples of nature reserves whose purpose of wildlife protection is being seriously undermined.
  • Tara is in no way threatened or undermined by this necessary development.
  • Rebel groups share common goals but are undermined by local rivalries.
  • And insofar as the best scholarly work is logical and objective, our ability to produce sound scholarly work is undermined.
  • Finally, the small, easy-to-wield wooden fork has its entire point undermined when saddled with this giant handle.
  • But lately, as the idea of the album as an artistic unit has been undermined by the music.
  • Perhaps they unconsciously said things in the reference call that undermined his candidacy.
British Dictionary definitions for undermined

undermine

/ˌʌndəˈmaɪn/
verb (transitive)
1.
(of the sea, wind, etc) to wear away the bottom or base of (land, cliffs, etc)
2.
to weaken gradually or insidiously: their insults undermined her confidence
3.
to tunnel or dig beneath
Derived Forms
underminer, noun
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 undermined

undermine

v.

c.1300, undermyne, from under + mine (v.). The figurative sense is attested from early 15c. Cf. Dutch ondermijnen, Danish underminere, German unterminiren. Related: Undermined; undermining.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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