undermine
Pronunciation
  • (British) IPA: /ʌndəˈmaɪn/
Verb

undermine (undermines, present participle undermining; past and past participle undermined)

  1. To dig underneath (something), to make a passage for destructive or military purposes; to sap. [from 14th c.]
    • 2009, Diarmaid MacCulloch, A History of Christianity, Penguin 2010, p. 312:
      Martin, for instance, had on one occasion undermined a tree sacred to old gods, then stood in the path of its fall, but forced it to fall elsewhere by making the sign of the Cross.
  2. (figuratively) To weaken or work against; to hinder, sabotage. [from 15th c.]
    The war efforts were undermined by the constant bickering between the allies.
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