Definition of underline in English:



  • 1 Draw a line under (a word or phrase) to give emphasis or indicate special type.

    • ‘I have underlined the words in both passages upon which Mr Scott places emphasis.’
    • ‘When taking tests, students should be encouraged to underline key words essay or short answer questions as this may help in focusing on critical pieces of a question.’
    • ‘Highlight important words and phrases with color, bolding, italics, underlining, etc.’
    • ‘If you underline text to emphasize something but it is not an actual link, your readers will almost certainly be confused.’
    • ‘Anybody notice as your surfing around blogs that there are some words underlined?’
    • ‘I agree with not underlining in dialogue, but I disagree with authors not underlining words they wish to emphasise at all.’
    • ‘I like the way he/she has underlined nearly every word in the final sentence.’
    • ‘I pick up my pen to underline some important points.’
    • ‘For some that meant moving from writing each idea on a separate line to using headers and underlining vocabulary words.’
    • ‘He spent a great deal of time writing on his legal pad and aggressively underlining whatever he was writing.’
    • ‘Copy the articles or excerpts by hand underlining those words and phrases that you think are significant in the creation of mood and/or atmosphere.’
    • ‘Sometimes she would underline words, sentences, or passages.’
    • ‘Please indicate italics by underlining and indicate boldface by drawing a wavy line beneath the affected characters.’
    • ‘Okay, so maybe I kind of went overboard by highlighting and underlining my own name in the playbill, but I can't help it!’
    underscore, mark, pick out, emphasize, highlight
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1Emphasize (something)
      ‘the improvement in retail sales was underlined by these figures’
      • ‘‘No more going home to an empty flat and no more dinners for one,’ he said, underlining his delight at being based at home again with his wife and two sons.’
      • ‘Recently leaders took part in a child protection training course, underlining the vital importance placed on ensuring the safety of all those youngsters who avail of the facilities.’
      • ‘These are impressive figures by any standard and underline the overall importance of this sector.’
      • ‘The television figures underline the sustained popularity of the annual broadcasts from the festival and this year's programme attracted over 56 per cent of the Irish audience at its peak.’
      • ‘It is just completely wrong, this, and it indicates and underlines I am afraid how much some of those places need reform themselves.’
      • ‘These figures underline the ineffectiveness of prison as a deterrent and a reformer.’
      • ‘She was made a partner at just 25, underlining the fact that she is an excellent solicitor, displaying maturity and an understanding of the law and management of a law firm beyond her years.’
      • ‘He used the occasion of the completion of reform to underline the broader implications for world trade.’
      • ‘I think that it's important to start by underlining the important distinction between practice at the society scale and at the individual scale.’
      • ‘I have also written to the head of the record company to convey my disgust and to underline that material like this must not be put on sale again.’
      • ‘These figures underline the fact that we are in the great boom in advertising for years, much greater than anything seen in 1999-2000.’
      • ‘A recent poll in the magazine underlines this, claiming that 75 per cent of under-25s aspire to a job in the state sector.’
      • ‘It also underlines the Government's objective to maintain farming as the backbone of a vibrant rural economy, and as the basis for a quality food industry capable of competing worldwide.’
      • ‘The grants involved are small but the decision to make more of them underlines the Government's determination to encourage public-private partnerships in all directions.’
      • ‘It served, however, to underline his credentials as the most dynamic figure in the new generation of Conservative politicians.’
      • ‘These shocking figures underline the need for the public to reduce, reuse and recycle.’
      • ‘This is good news for the consumer, underlining the importance of shopping around for the best quote.’
      • ‘Almost week-in and week-out, aunt Maureen is always underlining her credentials as one of the most, if not the only, complete female performer on the local front.’
      • ‘Nevertheless, the sale seemed to underline their minor status.’
      • ‘Press adverts underlining the need for employers to designate a pension scheme before the Government deadline of October 2001, will run alongside the TV campaign.’


  • 1A line drawn under a word or phrase, especially for emphasis.

    • ‘Take this familiar experience: spell a word wrongly in your word processor and you see a wavy red underline appear under the word.’
    • ‘My computer is, at this very moment, giving those two words angry red underlines telling me that the words don't exist.’
    • ‘Will I be able to catch my own passive voice without the green underline?’
    • ‘I don't think the problem is the color, the problem is the highlighting as opposed to an underline.’
    • ‘That last sentence has a green underline on my word processor, and when I right click to see what grammatical snafu I've made, it says ‘Wordiness.’’
    • ‘Then this morning the underlines were gone and hyperlinks were in a bright blue.’
    • ‘Do you find yourself avoiding the use of underlines in real life because they look like hyperlinks?’
    • ‘Some designers will change the color of links and remove the underline.’
  • 2The line of the lower part of an animal's body.