Definition of underhand in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /ˈəndərˌhand/


1(Of a throw or stroke in sports) made with the arm or hand below shoulder level: he has a surprisingly good motion, more sidearm than underhand [as adverb]: I served underhand
More example sentences
  • Almost every player shot a two-handed underhand free throw that started from around the knees, or lower.
  • While none of the Barry kids took to shooting free throws underhand, they resemble their father in other ways.
  • He thrived with a peculiar underhand delivery, behind which there's another story, perhaps true.
1.1With the palm of the hand upward or outward: an underhand grip
More example sentences
  • Hold handle with your right hand in an underhand grip, palm up.
  • Grasping the bar with an underhand (palms facing up) grip, hands about shoulder-width apart, she pulls the bar in toward her abdomen.
  • The bow is held underhand with the palm upwards, the up-bow therefore being the stronger bowstroke.
2 another term for underhanded. Laura would never agree to anything that smacked of underhand snooping
More example sentences
  • Surely it is the politicians that have brought politics into disrepute with their spin culture, deceit, half-truths and underhand dealings?
  • In the end, it was all right, I was cleared of any underhand dealings.
  • There is nothing covert or underhand about what has been going on here.


Old English in the sense 'in or into subjection, under control' (see under-, hand).

Words that rhyme with underhand

and, band, bland, brand, expand, firsthand, gland, grand, hand, land, manned, misunderstand, offhand, rand, righthand, Samarkand, sand, stand, strand, thirdhand, undermanned, understand, unplanned, untanned, withstand

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: un·der·hand

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.