Definition of underdog in English:



  • 1A competitor thought to have little chance of winning a fight or contest.

    ‘we go into this game as the underdogs’
    • ‘In his lifetime, he became a symbol of courage to a deprived country, the underdog in all his fights and still coming out on top.’
    • ‘We were certainly the underdogs in this competition, Jess, and it's not really a surprise we didn't win.’
    • ‘He went into the fight as the underdog and came out 15 rounds later as the world champion on points, with the judges split two to one.’
    • ‘My vote was giving the underdog a chance; it was a sympathy vote.’
    • ‘We are all on the same side, underdogs fighting against social and environmental oppression.’
    • ‘A gentleman genius, who fought for the underdog and played truly inspirational music.’
    • ‘We go into the game as underdogs but it's a great opportunity for the players to go out and enjoy the game.’
    • ‘Then even the most tired plot device of all can work: the underdog fighting all odds to win.’
    • ‘Isn't this the band of underdogs that won over America with grit and determination?’
    • ‘We will be huge underdogs in the quarter-finals but we have nothing to lose’
    • ‘You were the underdog in this fight, at least to those people who didn't really know you as a boxer.’
    • ‘Denis was the underdog, but the tide of the fight soon turned against the heavily favored Suzuki.’
    • ‘It's always enjoyable to watch a story where an underdog has to fight incredible odds to win.’
    • ‘Hopefully we will continue to be supported, though people have to remember that, even after two victories, we are still underdogs in every game.’
    • ‘The underdogs in any fight usually prepare body and mind meticulously before stepping into the ring.’
    • ‘In sports, it's fun to root for the underdog because of the small chance that he can knock off a superstar.’
    • ‘The thing is though, there's more than one way to win a football match, as underdogs have proved time and again over the years.’
    • ‘Going into the match as underdogs, his concern was to compete effectively against the champions.’
    • ‘We have always been big underdogs in the derby games and more often than not we have gone into the game worrying about them rather than concentrating on our own strengths.’
    • ‘We went into this game as complete underdogs but produced a performance of grit and determination in true championship fashion.’
    weaker party, victim, prey
    loser, scapegoat
    little fellow, little guy, fall guy, stooge
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1A person who has little status in society.
      ‘what is it like to be an underdog in America?’
      • ‘Maybe it's because he's an underdog living in an well-adjusted, mentally balanced society.’
      • ‘The nation loves to see an underdog fighting back.’
      • ‘As a champion of the underdog, what would she say about how society has dealt with the gap between the haves and the have nots of this world?’
      • ‘Americans love success stories, especially tales of underdogs who overcome all odds to achieve success by their own efforts.’
      • ‘Everyone loves an underdog, and this movie has a quartet of them.’
      • ‘Despite the instant attention they got in the UK, they enjoyed their underdog status in the US.’
      • ‘Moore didn't allow her political underdog status to stop her from throwing her hat into the campaign ring.’