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Use undermine in a sentence

Definition of undermine:

  • (verb) destroy property or hinder normal operations or work against;
  • (verb) hollow out as if making a cave or opening;

Sentence Examples:

They fear, distrust, and denounce the terrorist who goes forth to commit arson, pillage, or assassination no less than the anarchist who purchases private armies, hires thugs to beat up unoffending citizens, and uses the power of wealth to undermine the Government.

Everywhere the sides of the ravine seemed to be crumbling down, and masses of earth and rock were undermined and fell with a terrible splash into the stream, growing more furious every moment, while, wherever the gorge narrowed, the turbulence was awful.

This remarkable work is like a picture book of ideals undermined, hollowed, and shattered; a perverse compound of cynicism and passion, it is unspeakably loathsome to the sense of beauty and yet, in the last artistic reckoning, not without great beauty of its own.

The reader will observe that while he condemns Goethe's drinking habits because they undermined his constitution, he has, from the standpoint of a naturalist, no word of blame for his promiscuous love affairs, since these contributed to the development of his genius.

His journal had been so long suspended, that it was considered as virtually relinquished; his health was undermined by repeated attacks of illness, and science and society had to lament his sudden departure, when he had scarcely attained the meridian of life.

The unsettling of her domestic duties and habits, to which her temperament was particularly adapted, was, probably, directly and indirectly at the foundation of those causes, which gradually but too surely undermined her health, and prepared her for a premature grave.

However, by clothing carefully according to the weather, he succeeded, in the course of some six months, in firmly, as he thought, re-establishing his health, though, it is my firm conviction, that, from the hour of his wound, his constitution was effectually undermined.

Whatever the tendency of the proviso, it is clear that such action made an end of all real ministerial responsibility, if the chief Ministers of the Crown were to find their authority undermined by schemes which the King might concoct with inferior officers.

The stifling of liberty of the press and the curtailment of the right of public meeting served only to instill new energy into the party of resistance in the elective Councils, and to undermine a republican government that relied on Venetian methods of rule.

The edges are of a dull blue or purple color, and gradually thin out towards their free margins, and in addition are characteristically undermined, so that a probe can be passed for some distance between the floor of the ulcer and the thinned-out edges.

The purpose of the Blessed Beauty in entering into this Covenant and Testament was to gather all existent beings around one point so that the thoughtless souls, who in every cycle and generation have been the cause of dissension, may not undermine the Cause.

In these more sophisticated days it is the usual aim of every prominent journal to ignore as far as possible the existence of its rivals; then, it was thought that that existence could be best undermined, if not absolutely cut short, by direct attack.

Judson continued his work, completing his translation of the Bible, travelling over India, compiling a Burmese grammar and dictionary, but his labors at last undermined even his constitution and he died at sea in 1850, while on his way to the Isle of France.

The writers who responded to the same instinct in the eighties stood on the plane of a philosophy which had undermined the old traditions and conventions and had not yet crystallized into constructive principles that could safely guide the individual through life.

Innumerable artifices were resorted to by the assailants to force their way into the town; and none of the chiefs seem to have been more active and ingenious than the Count of Toulouse, who once succeeded in undermining a tower, and casting it to the ground.

A woman of blood and imagination in the warring world, without a mate whom she can revere, subscribes to a likeness with those independent minor realms between greedy mighty neighbors, which conspire and undermine when they do not openly threaten to devour.

It does not alter the case in the least that opinions, regarded as irreligious, or as undermining or in any way weakening the grounds of belief, take to themselves the specious names of literature, or politics, or political economy, or phrenology, or the philosophy of history.

The violent ebullition of the water had undermined the surrounding surface in many places, and for the distance of several feet from the margin had so thoroughly saturated the incrustation with its liquid contents, that it was unsafe to approach the edge.

Fissure, although so simple in extent and character and so readily curable, exercises a most potent influence in undermining the patient's health and strength, the constant pain and irritation to the nervous system being more than the majority of persons can endure.

Mere natural reason, mere philosophy or metaphysical sagacity transcends its just bounds, and commits a heinous sacrilege, when it attacks this primary article of our faith, and labors to distort it, to undermine it, or to expose its truth or its importance to distrust.

Between the time in which the securities of Liberty are undermined, and its final subversion, there is commonly a flattering interval during which the enjoyment of Liberty may be continued, in consequence of fundamental laws and rooted habits which cannot be at once exterminated.

The value of the service rendered to the American people by the great political parties is incalculable, and if these parties are to be disrupted and their organization and cohesiveness undermined, the result must inevitably be a most serious injury to the body politic.

It is possible that towards the close of his life he suffered occasionally from hallucination, though I could not positively affirm even so much; but this was only when his health had been completely undermined by causes which are very difficult to analyze.

Our physician, a very judicious man, and a friend of ours, when she confessed all these feelings, her trembling, and the anxiety which almost incessantly preyed on her and undermined her health, applied every remedy to calm her, physically and mentally.

All these various changes, however, exhausted her strength and wore her frame; and even in the lucid intervals, when her mind was completely itself, the gloomy sense of her wretchedness undermined her health, and wrought a sad change in her appearance.

No resemblances to the system can be found in the universe, except in those anomalies and seeming deformities which perplex the student of Providence, and which would undermine his faith, were they not lost in the vast spectacle of beauty and of good.

"Aristides, and other wise men, in their efforts to satisfy the requirements of a restless people, have opened a sluice, without calculating how it would be enlarged by the rushing waters, until the very walls of the city are undermined by its power."

I do not mean that they have died at their exercisers or that they fell exhausted because they did not have enough to eat, but that in their mad efforts to become thin quickly they undermined their health and laid a good foundation for physical disorders.

A ball dress was a veritable 'creation,' made with infinite pains and pride, every stitch carefully put in, the embroideries a triumph of patience and skill (and eyesight), as indeed was all the needlework of those leisurely days, before machine-made imitations undermined its value.

The succession of abnormal occurrences, however, of which Austin had been the subject, had begun to undermine her dogmatism; and this last event, the interposition of something, she knew not what, to save her from a horrible accident, appealed to her very strongly.

That it is the duty of the ministry to discourage all republican tendencies and specious attempts to degrade the King to the rank of a mere superior chief, as calculated to undermine his influence and authority, and place the islands in subjection to white men.

I can never be made to believe but that our letters were purposely destroyed by order of General Winder, as a part of his plan to discourage and dishearten us, well knowing how much this would do towards undermining our health and destroying our lives.

We will also artfully and deeply undermine the sources of production by instilling in the workmen ideas of anarchy, and encourage them in the use of alcohol, at the same time taking measures to drive all the intellectual forces of the Gentiles from the land.

Indeed, they brought down so many enemies, and their aim was so unerring, that scarcely a French warrior ventured to show himself on the battlements; and some got on hurdles and doors, with pickaxes and mattocks in their hands, to undermine the walls.

They are rough, and rugged, and bare, and honeycombed, and even, occasionally, altogether perforated by the water; bearing witness in their haggard condition to the violence of the waves by which they are continually assailed, undermined, broken up, and thrown down.

"On the one hand, sectarian hatred and dogmatism almost obscure the great truths common to all mankind; on the other, merciless and destructive criticism, in undermining much that used to be generally accepted, seems at times to threaten even the foundations of truth."

It is a fact well known in the history of science and philosophy that men, gifted by nature with singular intelligence, have broached the grossest errors and even sought to undermine the grand primitive truths on which human virtue, dignity, and hope depend.

Accordingly, we have recounted these things in order that those without also may understand that by the kind of doctrine which we follow, the authority of magistrates and the dignity of all civil ordinances are not undermined, but are all the more strengthened.

I wonder how a woman so kind-hearted, so intelligent, and so politic as Madame de Maintenon doubtless was, could have encouraged the King to a measure which undermined his popularity, which cut the sinews of natural strength, and raised up implacable enemies in every Protestant country.

Unwholesome feed and a faulty method of feeding undoubtedly predisposes to the disease, and in the same district the carefully fed will escape in far larger proportion than the badly fed; it is so also with every other condition which undermines the general health.

To our force of horsemen were added one hundred English bowmen and more than that number of hardy native mountaineers, whom it was thought might render valiant service in scaling or undermining the walls of the castle if we were forced to take it by assault.

As year by year his knowledge grew greater, and the scientific criticism of the Scriptures undermined the faith of weaker and less richly endowed minds, he only found in each discovery a more vivid proof of the truth of the Incarnation and the Resurrection.

Fragments of rock and tons of rocky dust and particles tumble from above on the compressed snow-bed below, which imperceptibly moves through the influence of thawing and undermining of the bed by the trickling water, downwards towards the valley a league below.

The peculiar relation between the different classes, which, in the ultimate development of democracy, in some measure neutralized its evils, struck root so deeply that it was never completely destroyed by the predominance of Spanish manners which undermined and strove against it for centuries.

Or will it be a consolation to him then to reflect that he disbelieved or doubted now, and that he exerted his talents and spent his life on earth in undermining the faith of his fellow-men, and weakening their impressions of things unseen and eternal?

The custom of diplomatic marriage with daughters of heathen kings, the incoming of luxury, which was destined to undermine the social, political, and religious hardihood which had previously characterized the people, were destined powerfully to influence the life and character of Hebrew women.

It is, therefore, the fundamental thought of the Clouds to expose Socrates to public contempt, as the representative of the Sophistic philosophy, a mere semblance of wisdom, at once vain, profitless, corrupting in its influence upon the youth, and undermining all true discipline and morality.

The edges are of a dull blue or purple color and gradually thin out toward their free margins, and in addition, are characteristically undermined, so that a probe can be passed for some distance between the floor of the ulcer and the thinned out borders.

She now desired him to remain and take charge of the ship of state, but his elevation gave great umbrage to his many opponents at court, and the desire to undermine, upset and even to assassinate Mazarin was the cause of endless intrigues and conspiracies.

If it consisted of solid rock, the river would probably have no effect upon it; but of such loose and friable materials is it composed, that the river is continually undermining it, and producing effects not less to be dreaded than those of an earthquake.

Recollections of the Gunpowder Plot caused men to curse loudly, and to grasp with firm hand the useful flail safely hid inside the doublet: a good protection against personal attack, but alas, useless if the whole of Westminster was really undermined with powder.

Her perceptions had been weakened by the effort to adjust her mind to unaccustomed circumstances, and she mistook her own failure to resist deterioration for a sort of jealous plot on the part of other people to undermine her judgment and her purity of purpose.

Weak, amiable, and curious, he fell complacently to observing that world which was entirely lacking in consistency, though it was not without charm; and he did not see that little by little he was becoming contaminated by it: it was undermining his faith.

The audacity with which communism, that living and acting logic of democracy, attacks society from the moral side, shows plainly that the Samson of to-day, grown prudent, is undermining the foundations of the cellar, instead of shaking the pillars of the hall.

It is this very abstraction of love, isolated from any person who loves, and projected as an abstract into the void, that has done so much to undermine religious thought, just as that other absolute of "pure being" has done so much to undermine philosophic thought.

If a certain belief is necessary to salvation, if to reject it is to merit damnation, and to undermine it is to imperil the eternal welfare of others, there is only one course open to its adherents; they must treat the heretic as they would treat a viper.

If we leave out of consideration the rapid failure of the various Socialistic attempts at institutions based upon the foundation of authority, yet the sad experiences of half a century filled with continual constitutional changes would have sufficed to undermine the respect for authority as such.

He knew its fatal tendency to undermine the will and debilitate the constitution, yet he could not deny himself an artificial peace which he described as "a spot of enchantment, a green spot of fountains and trees in the very heart of a waste of sand."

Long and close attention to the duties of a harassing and wearisome task has undermined my constitution; you can sympathize with my feelings, and next week I propose to give myself a well-earned repose in order to visit my dear son at the University of Oxford.

It is the thoughtless and mechanical practice of a really musical subject which undermines the musical sense, for the practice of purely mechanical matter should never be "dry" so long as the singer thoroughly grasps the real objects to be attained from that practice.

That officer, as he tells us, discovered that his sappers were using too large charges of powder, which destroyed the roofs and four walls of each house that they undermined, so that the infantry who followed had no cover when they first took possession.

In color and texture rather like chocolate, they are cut into terraces by the different levels of the water, while the lapping of the waves is perpetually undermining them, so that huge slabs of the rich alluvial mud are continually falling away into the river.

Their bark was perforated, to the height of thirty feet from the ground, with numerous holes, through which insects had escaped; and large pieces had become so loose, by the undermining of the grubs, as to yield to slight efforts, and come off in flakes.

Silently and insidiously she undermines man's handiwork, and realization of his futile conflict with her invincible power enters with disastrous effect into the popular mind, lacking that immutable force without which the spiritual temple of faith rests on a foundation of shifting sand.

In course of time the waters, periodically swollen by melted snows and the copious rains of winter, would cut deeper and deeper into the heart of the mountains, and would undermine the lateral cliffs, until the valleys became as large as we now find them.

A heap of it, however, rising suddenly, gave the townsmen intimation of their work, and terrified lest, the wall being undermined, a passage should be opened into the city, they determined to draw a trench within, opposite to the work that was covered with machines.

No one so capable of holding up the mirror to contemporary society without distorting the slenderest thread of its complex tissue of usages; no one, on the other hand, who so keenly delighted in startling away the illusion or carefully undermining it by some palpably fantastic invention.

We may prepare the way for it by undermining and destroying those degrading traditional conceptions which have persisted so long that they are instilled into us almost from birth, to work like a virus in the heart, and to become almost a disease of the soul.

It becomes more important to him than business, home, wife, children, reputation, or character; and before he knows it he finds that his will is undermined, reason is dethroned, affection is dead, appetite has become his master, and he has become its beastly and degraded slave.

The wounds, but half healed, opened once more; a slow fever undermined his nervous system by day and by night, and he had hardly fallen asleep when a hacking cough waked him from dreams so fearful that even sleeplessness seemed a benefit in comparison.

Always a torrent, and always milky white, it swept on, sometimes running along an even slope, at others leaping down precipices a hundred feet high, now undermining a thick crust of soil green with spruces, again burrowing beneath snowdrifts which almost filled the gorge.

I must add my full belief that, had the power rested with my immediate superiors, I should have escaped the long interruption to my tenure of office, and have been spared the greater part of that protracted and exhausting contest which undermined my health.

In one case out of ten, it is highly prejudicial to remove a patient from his surroundings; moreover, it loosens the family tie, and in Paris especially, where these bonds are so slight and so incessantly undermined by false theories, it is a more damaging course than elsewhere.

At the sound of his trumpets the walls of the city imitated the example of Jericho, and instantly fell to the ground; a splendid miracle, which may be reduced to the supposition, that some clerical engineers had secretly undermined the foundations of the rampart.

When afterwards he came to reason soberly over the adventure, the conclusion seemed obvious that the pitfall had been a consequent upon the breaking out of one of the ancient springs, so that the water, in endeavoring to find an outlet, had finally undermined the whole roadway.

If only Japan could see the real significance of this she would at once withdraw all her nefarious demands on China, proceed sincerely and honestly to win the friendship of China, and then undermine the very ground of every foreign trader because of her propinquity.

The general opinion seems to be, that since it is absolutely necessary for the peace of our minds that some origin of things should be current amongst us, it would be very unwise to undermine the one we have now, because it might not be easy to find another.

They were now on the edge of the flooded district, and, though they saw no scenes of actual suffering, as yet, they were held up by such happenings as bridges washed away, or made unsafe, tracks undermined by the rain, and landslides covering the rails.

Here they lived in close communion, despite the danger, working sometimes with the West, sometimes without it, according to their skills, to undermine the iron grip of the communist leadership, to encourage and protect dissidents, and to publish their work both home and abroad.

Vexation and disappointment within, and excesses, if not continual, yet too frequent, from without, had for long been undermining his naturally strong but nervously sensitive frame, and those symptoms were now making themselves felt, which were soon to lay him in an early grave.

The "rich and idle," represented in the person of Caroline, were meantime falling fast into a condition of prostration, whose quickly consummated debility puzzled all who witnessed it except one; for that one alone reflected how liable is the undermined structure to sink in sudden ruin.

He had restored the superstructure of the imperial monarchy, but he had likewise strengthened and legalized methods and institutions till then private and insecure, and these, passing from custom into law, undermined the foundations of the structure he had thought himself to be repairing.

I will not again refer to the mournful effects produced on your own health from this indulgence in opium, by which you have undermined your strong constitution; but I must notice the injurious consequences which this passion for the narcotic drug has on your literary efforts.

Its resistance must never be public and open violence, nor, either directly or indirectly, by means of what we may call machinations, for such a proceeding would undermine the sacred foundations of public confidence, and shake the whole edifice of moral order and society.

If a temperate man falls ill or meets with an accident, his system responds so readily to remedies and moderate stimulants that his chances for recovery are a hundred per cent better than those of the man whose constitution has been undermined by strong drink.

What were the seeds of decay that smoldered and finally undermined the Grecian democracies, the power of Carthage and of Tyre, the world-embracing Roman Empire, the Venetian Republic, the Holy Roman Empire, proud Spain of Charles V, and France of the seventeenth century?

In this manner the article continues, revealing, in defiance of all sense of delicacy and discretion, the English attempt to undermine the foundations of our national life by tampering with the children of the public schools and the young men and women in the universities.

Higher in the tree, an unsightly gaping hollow presents itself, left after the fall of some dead and useless limb and this, collecting the rain water from each successive shower, has caused the gradual undermining of the tree and hurried it to its approaching death.

They maintain that people must have been far more interesting when they believed in the fairies; and they rave against Sunday schools and all other schools for having undermined the ancient superstitions of the peasantry: it all comes, they say, of over-educating the working classes.

Night work is extremely injurious in its effects, it undermines the health (sleep during the day does not adequately compensate for loss of sleep during the night), morality, and the family life of the worker (who has no time to occupy himself with his family).

I have already described the influences that had for centuries been undermining the older English ideal, but this open violation of it, at the very time when streams of oratory were flowing all over England on liberty and the value of representation, naturally led to a reaction.

The walls were likewise strengthened with battlements and towers, in which the men could fight under shelter, and they were surrounded by a broad and deep ditch, to prevent an enemy from approaching too near to them, in order to undermine them or batter them down.

The author was a university professor, a man of practical piety, a Lutheran preacher of high repute, simple, affectionate, faithful to his duties, quite unconscious that he was undermining anybody's faith, so deeply rooted was the old Lutheran freedom of criticism in regard to the Bible.

Lyell observes, the undermining by springs has caused large portions of the upper part of the cliffs, with houses still standing upon them, to give way, so that it is impossible, by erecting breakwaters at the base of the cliffs, permanently to ward off the danger.

While, therefore, at one point the sea is advancing landward, and requiring great effort to prevent the undermining and washing away of the dikes, it is shoaling at another by its own deposits, and exposing, at low water, a gradually widening belt of sands and ooze.

As wealth and power are intimately connected with population, and depend in a great measure upon it, wherever they are the cause of introducing a taste that will, in the end, depopulate a country, they must, in so far, undermine their own support, and bring on decay.

The column of water thus impinged against it at once acts upon the bank, and, singularly enough, exerts its strongest abrasive action at the bottom, undermining the bank, which soon gives way, and instead of toppling forward, it noiselessly slides beneath the water and disappears.

More particularly by the confusion in which he left the relation between the two logical principles of identity and of sufficient reason underlying respectively analytic and synthetic, deductive and inductive thought, he may be said to have undermined in another way the idealism he strove to establish.

These animals open permanent drains in the levees, through which the water finds its way, slowly at first, then rapidly, until it undermines the bank, when a crevasse occurs, and many square miles of arable and forest lands are submerged for weeks at a time.

They, therefore, very often resorted to the device of undermining the walls in order to make them fall; sometimes they raised the ground for attack by constructing a mound, or made movable towers in order to enable them to fight from the same height as the garrison.