V2 Vocabulary Building Dictionary



Definition: to make something weaker, as if by tunneling under the foundation of a structure

Synonyms: weaken, corrode, soften, impair, thwart, undercut, tunnel, wreck

Antonyms: strengthen, fortify, encourage

Tips: To help you remember the definition for undermine, picture how mining under a structure would weaken its foundation. Undermine is generally used figuratively to refer to actions that weaken an abstract structure, like authority. Undermining is generally done through subtle means, like manipulation or underhanded comments.

Usage Examples:

Many people feel that political contributions from special interest groups undermine the democratic process. (corrode, wreck, weaken)

The principal undermined the teacher's authority by questioning her teaching style in front of her students. (weakened, undercut)

She hoped no one would undermine her point by disputing the facts she presented. (undercut, weaken)

The couple works hard not to undermine one another's authority in front of their children. (weaken, undercut)

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