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Etymology 1[edit]

From under +‎ -wise.


underwise (not comparable)

  1. On or to the bottom or underside of; beneath; underneath.
    • 1822, Louis Eustache Ude, The French cook:
      [...] next stuff the skin of the leg of mutton, sew it underwise, wrap the whole in a cloth, and braize it [...]
    • 1858, United States Congress, Congressional edition:
      In forming double volute springs, plates of sheet steel are employed. These are heated and are then introduced underwise, one at a time, beneath the mandrel B upon the support I, until the central part of the plate is beneath the mandrel.
  2. Below; hereafter.
    • 1866, Charles Dickens, All the year round:
      Then as how to continue the quotations self-praise, and description of matters as hardly never occured[sic] or transpirated, follows underwise: [...]
    • 1924, League of Nations, Official journal:
      Unless underwise provided by this law, decisions shall be given by a majority of votes of the members present, other than the President.
    • 1962, Columbia University. Legislative Drafting Research Fund, United States, Constitutions of the United States, national and State:
      All other grants, gifts and devises, that have been, or may hereafter be, made to this state and not underwise appropriated by the terms of the grant, gift, or devise the interest arising from all the funds mentioned in the [...]


underwise (plural not attested)

  1. Underside.
    • 1905, Cornelius McLeod Percy, Frank Percy, George H. Winstanley, The mechanical equipment of collieries:
      [...] but a certain amount of clearance is allowed in all the clips to enable the pipes to expand and contract freely according to their temperature, or to accommodate themselves to any underwise movement.
    • 1909, Cassier's magazine:
      The same firm, in a suction dredger built specially for the Rangoon port improvements, fit very powerful water jets on the underwise of the suction nozzle to disturb the hard, sandy bottom.

Etymology 2[edit]

From under- +‎ wise.


underwise (comparative more underwise, superlative most underwise)

  1. Lacking adequate or sufficient wisdom; insufficiently wise.
    • 1847, The herald of truth:
      Let us, therefore, be neither overwise nor underwise, neither hasty nor tardy, but liberal, tolerant, and full of hope.
    • 1877, Washington Gladden, The Christian way: whither it leads and how to go on:
      Some underwise people, ministers even affect to despise the knowledge that comes through books, and pretend to draw all their inspirations from the incidents and associations of common life; [...]
    • 1921, American printer and lithographer:
      These few illustrative examples will suggest that if the proofreader's assistant is or remains "underwise" or inattentive in the matter of adapted pauses in reading manuscript, and fails to clearly sound sibilants and coalescents, some one will "lose out" on proof nunciat ion.
    • 2006, Tim Beaglehole, A life of J.C. Beaglehole: New Zealand scholar:
      I know it's overclever and underwise in places.


underwise (third-person singular simple present underwises, present participle underwising, simple past and past participle underwised)

  1. (transitive) To make, render, or prove to be underwise.
    • 1970, Portugal. Ministério dos Negócios Estrangeiros, Portugal replies in the United Nations:
      This in turn would underwise and render nugatory the sovereign equality of [...]
    • 1986, United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, Current Problems of Economic Integration:
      Institutional defects may, in certain cases, further paralyse an integration movement and underwise the strength of the regional organization.