To Undermine : Phrases
To weaken, usually secretly and gradually.
During World War II, the French Resistance did everything they could to undermine their German captors.
In the 14th century, it was common practice for besiegers to tunnel under the foundations of a castle, either to enter it or to weaken the walls. The tunnels were called mines and the damaged walls were considered undermined. By the 15th century, any underhanded method used to defeat an enemy had become known as undermining.
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