underling


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un·der·ling

 (ŭn′dər-lĭng)
n.
One of lesser rank or authority than another; a subordinate.
Word History: The suffix -ling, inherited from Common Germanic, already had several uses in Old English, all of which produced new nouns. It could, for example, be added to a noun to make a second noun that referred to something connected with or similar to the first noun; thus, adding this suffix to the Old English word yrth, "plowland," produced the Old English word yrthling, "plowman." The suffix could also be added to an adjective to make a noun that referred to something having the quality denoted by the adjective: from Old English dēore, "dear, beloved," was derived dēorling (Modern English darling). Adding -ling to an adverb produced a noun referring to something having the position or condition denoted by the adverb: from Old English under came underling. This last use of -ling is actually taken over from Old Norse. In Old Norse -ling was used to form diminutives; thus, our word gosling was a borrowing in Middle English of an Old Norse word, gæslingr, "gosling, a little goose."

underling

(ˈʌndəlɪŋ)
n
(Industrial Relations & HR Terms) a subordinate or lackey

un•der•ling

(ˈʌn dər lɪŋ)

n.
a subordinate.
[1125–75]
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.underling - an assistant subject to the authority or control of anotherunderling - an assistant subject to the authority or control of another
assistant, helper, help, supporter - a person who contributes to the fulfillment of a need or furtherance of an effort or purpose; "my invaluable assistant"; "they hired additional help to finish the work"
associate - a person with subordinate membership in a society, institution, or commercial enterprise; "associates in the law firm bill at a lower rate than do partners"
bottom dog - a person of low status
cog - a subordinate who performs an important but routine function; "he was a small cog in a large machine"
man - a male subordinate; "the chief stationed two men outside the building"; "he awaited word from his man in Havana"
second fiddle, second banana - someone who serves in a subordinate capacity or plays a secondary role

underling

noun (Derogatory) subordinate, inferior, minion, servant, slave, cohort (chiefly U.S.), retainer, menial, nonentity, lackey, hireling, flunky, understrapper underlings who do the dirty work

underling

noun
One belonging to a lower class or rank:
Translations

underling

[ˈʌndəlɪŋ] N (pej) → subordinado/a m/f, subalterno/a m/f

underling

[ˈʌndərlɪŋ] n (pejorative)sous-fifre m

underling

n (pej)Untergebene(r) mf, → Befehlsempfänger(in) m(f) (pej)

underling

[ˈʌndəlɪŋ] n (pej) → galoppino, tirapiedi m inv
References in classic literature ?
He said "Good morning" abruptly and nodded, and then he snatched, rather than took, a newspaper from the table, and began to read it with the air of a master who seizes a pretext to escape the bore of conversing with an underling.
About the time of which we write the pension list had just been issued, and on it Rabourdin saw the name of an underling in office rated for a larger sum than the old colonels, maimed and wounded for their country.
I remember well that, at the siege of Retters, there was a little, sleek, fat clerk of the name of Chaucer, who was so apt at rondel, sirvente, or tonson, that no man dare give back a foot from the walls, lest he find it all set down in his rhymes and sung by every underling and varlet in the camp.
Higgs that Captain Osborne was waiting, in a fierce and patronizing way, as if the pekin of an attorney, who had thrice his brains, fifty times his money, and a thousand times his experience, was a wretched underling who should instantly leave all his business in life to attend on the Captain's pleasure.
I said these words did him extreme credit, but that he must not throw away the imperishable distinction of being the first man to descend an Alp per parachute, simply to save the feelings of some envious underlings.
The duke, duchess, and Don Quixote had reached this point in their conversation, when they heard voices and a great hubbub in the palace, and Sancho burst abruptly into the room all glowing with anger, with a straining-cloth by way of a bib, and followed by several servants, or, more properly speaking, kitchen-boys and other underlings, one of whom carried a small trough full of water, that from its colour and impurity was plainly dishwater.
Preoccupied as Madame Danglars had been with the object of her visit, the treatment she had received from these underlings appeared to her so insulting, that she began by complaining of it.
Do underlings order the goings of eight thousand redcoats -with guns?
All his life he had thwarted her, stolen from her, used her as one could not use even a hired hand, worked her more as a slave-driver hurries his underlings that profits may mount; now, by her mere existence, she was thwarting him.
A very sweet reflection to poor fellows habituated to respect and obedience towards the underlings of the sergeants of the bailiff of Sainte-Geneviève, the cardinal's train-bearer.
He should be a veritable god among the underlings, he knew; but somehow a doubt assailed him.
He sought out one of the underlings with whom he had some acquaintance, and whom he found ready enough, even eager, to discuss the matter.