underminer

undermine

[uhn-der-mahyn or especially for 1, 2, 4, uhn-der-mahyn]
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:
1300–50; Middle English underminen. See under-, mine2

underminer, noun
underminingly, adverb
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World English Dictionary
undermine (ˌʌndəˈmaɪn)
 
vb
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
 
under'miner
 
n

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

undermine
c.1300, undermyne, from under + mine (v.). The fig. sense is attested from c.1430. Cf. Du. ondermijnen, Dan. underminere, Ger. unterminiren.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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