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undermine (verb) weaken.

You undermine the self confidence of a person by your criticism of them. That is, because of your criticism, they lose confidence in themselves. You undermine the authority of a person by telling others to disobey them.

  • The teamís recent defeats have undermined our confidence in the team. Our confidence is weakened because the team has been losing matches.
  • The failure of the government to control the price rise has undermined its popularity. Because of its failure to contain prices, it is not so confident of peopleís support as it was.
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Last Modified : 11-May 2009
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