Underdog (term)

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An "underdog" is a person or group in a competition, usually in sports and creative works, who is popularly expected to lose.[1] The party, team, or individual expected to win is called the favorite or top dog. In the case where an underdog wins, the outcome is an upset. An "underdog bet" is a bet on the underdog or outsider for which the odds are generally higher.

The first recorded uses of the term occurred in the second half of the 18th century;[2][3] its first meaning was "the beaten dog in a fight".[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Keinan, Anat; Avery, Jill; Paharia, Neeru. "Capitalizing on the Underdog Effect". Harvard Business Review (November 2010). Retrieved 13 April 2013. 
    "Everyone loves a scrappy underdog", as the article observes.
  2. ^ "Definition of UNDERDOG". www.merriam-webster.com. Retrieved 2016-06-04. 
  3. ^ The Shorter Oxford Dictionary, Third Edition, 1983. First use 1887.
  4. ^ The Shorter Oxford Dictionary, Third Edition, 1983.

External links[edit]

  • "Top dog". The Phrase Finder. Retrieved 2013-09-19.