Quiz: Remember the definition of mal de mer?


[v. uhn-der-skawr, -skohr, uhn-der-skawr, -skohr; n. uhn-der-skawr, -skohr] /v. ˈʌn dərˌskɔr, -ˌskoʊr, ˌʌn dərˈskɔr, -ˈskoʊr; n. ˈʌn dərˌskɔr, -ˌskoʊr/
verb (used with object), underscored, underscoring.
to mark with a line or lines underneath; underline, as for emphasis.
to stress; emphasize:
The recent tragedy underscores the danger of disregarding safety rules.
a line drawn beneath something written or printed.
music for a film soundtrack; background for a film or stage production.
1765-75; under- + score Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
Cite This Source
Examples from the web for underscores
  • The fact that you do not appreciate the complexities of economics underscores why no one asked you to make those decisions.
  • On the contrary, that you seem to find it necessary to resort to such remarks painfully underscores your lack of them.
  • The big, red new squid species-perhaps one of several-underscores the richness of undersea mountain life, experts say.
  • Globalisation underscores the need for a flexible, dynamic labour market and a well-educated, adaptable workforce.
  • The tendency of the effects of bullying to worsen when left untreated underscores the need for early intervention as well.
  • The promotion underscores the challenge that faces electric-car makers.
  • The pattern underscores big problems with the mix of economic policies around the world.
  • He underscores the urgency of sustainable forest management.
British Dictionary definitions for underscores


verb (transitive) (ˌʌndəˈskɔː)
to draw or score a line or mark under
to stress or reinforce
noun (ˈʌndəˌskɔː)
a line drawn under written matter
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for underscores



1771, "to draw a line under," from under + score (v.). The figurative sense of "to emphasize" is attested from 1891. Noun meaning "a line drawn below (something)" is recorded from 1901.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for underscore

Some English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for underscores

Scrabble Words With Friends

Quotes with underscores