Definition of underline in US English:



[with object]
Pronunciation /ˌəndərˈlīn//ˌəndərˈlaɪn/
  • 1Draw a line under (a word or phrase) to give emphasis or indicate special type.

    • ‘Please indicate italics by underlining and indicate boldface by drawing a wavy line beneath the affected characters.’
    • ‘Sometimes she would underline words, sentences, or passages.’
    • ‘I like the way he/she has underlined nearly every word in the final sentence.’
    • ‘I have underlined the words in both passages upon which Mr Scott places emphasis.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Anybody notice as your surfing around blogs that there are some words underlined?’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘I agree with not underlining in dialogue, but I disagree with authors not underlining words they wish to emphasise at all.’
    • ‘I pick up my pen to underline some important points.’
    • ‘If you underline text to emphasize something but it is not an actual link, your readers will almost certainly be confused.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Okay, so maybe I kind of went overboard by highlighting and underlining my own name in the playbill, but I can't help it!’
    • ‘Highlight important words and phrases with color, bolding, italics, underlining, etc.’
    underscore, mark, pick out, emphasize, highlight
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Emphasize (something)
      ‘the improvement in retail sales was underlined by these figures’
      • ‘These figures underline the ineffectiveness of prison as a deterrent and a reformer.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘A recent poll in the magazine underlines this, claiming that 75 per cent of under-25s aspire to a job in the state sector.’
      • ‘These are impressive figures by any standard and underline the overall importance of this sector.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘He used the occasion of the completion of reform to underline the broader implications for world trade.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘I think that it's important to start by underlining the important distinction between practice at the society scale and at the individual scale.’
      • ‘These figures underline the fact that we are in the great boom in advertising for years, much greater than anything seen in 1999-2000.’
      • ‘It is just completely wrong, this, and it indicates and underlines I am afraid how much some of those places need reform themselves.’
      • ‘‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘It served, however, to underline his credentials as the most dynamic figure in the new generation of Conservative politicians.’
      • ‘This is good news for the consumer, underlining the importance of shopping around for the best quote.’
      • ‘These shocking figures underline the need for the public to reduce, reuse and recycle.’
      • ‘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.’
      emphasize, give emphasis to, stress, lay stress on, put stress on, highlight, accentuate, accent, call attention to, draw attention to, focus on, focus attention on, zero in on, spotlight, throw into relief, give prominence to, bring to the fore, foreground, bring home, point up, play up, make a feature of
      View synonyms


Pronunciation /ˈəndərlīn//ˈəndərlaɪn/
  • 1A line drawn under a word or phrase, especially for emphasis.

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