Definition of underbelly in English:



  • 1The soft underside or abdomen of an animal.

    • ‘The most common color is dark brown - slightly brighter on the underbelly than the dorsal surface.’
    • ‘The birds are also known as ‘ghost’ owls for the white face and underbelly feathers that are visible as they fly overhead.’
    • ‘Her lithe body whipped around, talons slicing throats and underbellies as she attacked relentlessly.’
    • ‘The feathers on its underbelly lightly brushed the lily pads on the surface.’
    • ‘His friend's skin had mottled with rage and his lips were white like the underbelly of a fish.’
    • ‘Color is variable and can range from jet black dorsally with a lighter underbelly to a uniform light gray.’
    • ‘Her body was so perfectly counter-shaded in the soft starlight that even the pure white of her underbelly merged into the picture.’
    • ‘Ruffs and britches disappeared long ago, and there isn't much to distinguish a Balinese from a Siamese today except a wispy fringe on the underbelly and a meek plume of a tail.’
    • ‘Their feet have very big, sharp claws they use to ‘rip’ the underbellies of larger animals.’
    • ‘Anyway, the North American variety are in the genus Macrobdella, very pretty leeches, sort of an olive colour with a red underbelly and red polka dots going down the back.’
    underside, lower side, underneath, undersurface, undercarriage, underpart, belly
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    1. 1.1 An area vulnerable to attack.
      ‘these multinationals have a soft underbelly’
      • ‘The timing was razor sharp, striking right on the soft underbelly of Scotland's tender new born sensibilities.’
      • ‘No one thought their forwards would prove to be their soft underbelly.’
      • ‘Methinks they've shown their soft underbelly.’
      • ‘‘The corporate database is the soft underbelly of corporate Ireland,’ Reynolds said.’
      • ‘Conflicts of interest remain a soft spot in the underbelly of politics and journalism.’
      • ‘When it comes to competitive production, the advent of the free trade area has exposed the manufacturers' underbelly again.’
      • ‘Was Georgia a wholesome, egalitarian Utopia or an expedient way to harden the soft underbelly of the Southern colonies?’
      • ‘The world is now adopting open standards, which leaves their vast underbelly vulnerable.’
      • ‘It claims the party's policy underbelly is economic risk, cuts to public services and charges for hospital operations.’
      • ‘The stock market plunge has slashed at the soft underbelly of the giant insurance companies and pension funds.’
      • ‘He can't win, his weak-as-water hesitations and obvious discomfort over the whole affair has exposed his soft underbelly to the electorate and they will probably tear at him like sharks for it.’
      • ‘And these people shrewdly, you know, found what would be in temporal terms the soft underbelly of the American media.’
      • ‘By hijacking the legitimate connection to a traditional wired computer network, hackers might be able to exploit the soft underbelly of corporate networks and launch even more invasive attacks.’
      • ‘The soft underbelly of the country's power is its reluctance to take casualties and to pay the costs of rebuilding societies that it invades.’
      • ‘Alas, we find the soft underbelly of these groups and their use of the Internet.’
      • ‘Her questions were quick as a flash, like a salesman's flow chart, until she got the punters vulnerable underbelly.’
      • ‘And maybe some fans will reject their heroes because they don't want to see their soft underbelly.’
      • ‘Some people referred to it as a soft underbelly - whatever that is - but make no mistake about it, over the last few years Kerry teams have not performed for the full game.’
      • ‘I think that Currie reckoned we had something of a soft underbelly up front but we took them to the cleaners.’
      • ‘Back in harness after spells together at Newcastle and with England, the pair aim to inject more steel into a side that is beginning to earn the reputation of having a soft underbelly.’
      fatal flaw, achilles heel, weakness, weak point, weak spot, soft underbelly, failing, blight, misfortune, affliction, trouble, curse
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    2. 1.2 A hidden unpleasant or criminal part of society.
      ‘the dark underbelly of a ghetto’
      • ‘As a look at the dark underbelly of the record industry, and a self-defeating ego, it's fascinating stuff, and should be required viewing for anyone who has ever thought about joining a band.’
      • ‘You work your way through the criminal underbelly of a city, jacking cars and committing all kinds of felonies as you make your way to the top.’
      • ‘In order to satisfy Kip's debt to society's dark underbelly, Raines must come out of retirement and steal 50 cars in three days.’
      • ‘Although the dance epitomises the glamour and elegance of high society, the Argentine tango originated in the underbelly of society - its brothels.’
      • ‘One by one, its children learn of their society's dark underbelly and so become adults.’
      • ‘I've seen a small glimpse of the underbelly of our consumer based society and it's not nice.’
      • ‘His latest novel, Lullaby hit bookshelves in the quietest of fashions, and, again, deals with the darker underbelly of American life.’
      • ‘Even in a small berg like St. Louis, the underbelly of society, still could manage to find you if they looked hard enough.’
      • ‘However, it was written to portray the seedy underbelly of society in a slapstick kind of way.’
      • ‘She finds friendship with a homeless boy, but the two find that friendship is not enough to get by on in the dark underbelly of Russia's rough and unforgiving streets.’
      • ‘The dark underbelly was much more entertaining than the tourist attractions.’
      • ‘His avowed aim is to write about, ‘people whose stories are seldom told, because they constitute the underbelly of society.’’
      • ‘Set in the summer of 1978 amid a vivid Italian landscape of yellow cornfields and blue skies, this film looks at the dark underbelly of the world through a child's eyes.’
      • ‘Carmen, Baby is a spicy tale of crime and punishment, set against a backbone of high society and seamy underbellies.’
      • ‘The next thing you know, little league games will be marred by sports betting, immersed in the dark underbelly of gambling.’
      • ‘Downstairs, life is also quite formal but the servants are closer to the underbelly of society, the whispers and the rumours.’
      • ‘The main people who are using cocaine in this area now are what would be described as the underbelly of society.’
      • ‘They come from the gritty underbelly of society where one has to be tough in order to survive.’
      • ‘Last week saw the launch of Ireland's first ever dedicated crime magazine, a publication that aims to tap into the public's fascination with the underbelly of society.’
      • ‘All of them are in the underbelly of society and that appealed to me.’