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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 for undermines
  • Acting with callous disregard for the feelings of other animals undermines our empathic natures and humane sensitivities.
  • Perhaps because it undermines our human ego to realise otherwise.
  • Too bad the fall time was extended and thus for a few weeks, undermines this reasonable effort.
  • Good news, even qualified good news, runs counter to the conventional wisdom and undermines almost everybody's agenda of reform.
  • As a result, this type of regulatory behavior undermines the availability of credit.
  • Party discipline, if and when it occurs, is often secret and undermines the legal system because it takes place outside of it.
  • It's disconnected from feeling, and an eerie blankness-it's too shallow to be called nihilism-undermines even the best scenes.
  • And that undermines one of the basic principles of certification.
  • The smart money among the scientific and philosophical experts is that science undermines religion.
  • No evidence supports her position, but all evidence undermines it.
British Dictionary definitions for undermines

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 undermines

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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