"You canker blossom!" 3 Shakespearean Insults


[uhn-der-stuhd-ee] /ˈʌn dərˌstʌd i/
verb (used with object), understudied, understudying.
to learn (a role) in order to replace the regular actor or actress when necessary.
to act as understudy to (an actor or actress):
to understudy the lead.
verb (used without object), understudied, understudying.
to act or work as an understudy.
noun, plural understudies.
a performer who learns the role of another in order to serve as a replacement if necessary.
Origin of understudy
1870-75; under- + study Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for understudy
  • In photography, chance is often the overlooked understudy of talent.
  • But it is usually a bad sign for your candidacy if you're only sticking around as an understudy.
  • We will review some of the more promising techniques understudy.
  • It is therefore important to test questionnaires and, if necessary, adapt them to each population understudy.
  • Evidently, however, these factors do not impinge on the vessels understudy here.
British Dictionary definitions for understudy


verb -studies, -studying, -studied
(transitive) to study (a role or part) so as to be able to replace the usual actor or actress if necessary
to act as understudy to (an actor or actress)
noun (pl) -studies
an actor or actress who studies a part so as to be able to replace the usual actor or actress if necessary
anyone who is trained to take the place of another in case of need
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 understudy

also under-study, 1852, in the theatrical sense, from under + study (v.). The noun is attested from 1848, translating Italian supplimento.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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