Ask Difference

Undo vs. Undue — What's the Difference?

By Tayyaba Rehman — Published on October 14, 2023
Undo vs. Undue — What's the Difference?

Difference Between Undo and Undue

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Key Differences

"Undo" and "undue" are distinct both in meaning and function in English. "Undo" typically pertains to the act of reversing, canceling, or nullifying a prior action or decision. One might "undo" a mistake they've made or "undo" a knot that's tightly tied. In contrast, "undue" serves as an adjective describing something that exceeds what is appropriate or necessary. It's common to hear about "undue influence" or "undue stress."
Tayyaba Rehman
Oct 14, 2023
Further, "undo" is a verb and functions dynamically, relating to actions. For instance, in digital platforms, the "undo" function allows users to retract their last action. On the other side, "undue" comments on the quality or degree of something. If someone faces "undue hardship," it means the hardship is greater than what would be deemed fair or reasonable.
Tayyaba Rehman
Oct 14, 2023
"Undo" conveys a sense of removal or reversal. If someone were to "undo" their work, it implies they're erasing or taking back what was previously done. "Undue," however, lends itself to situations where there's an element of excessiveness or impropriety. Claiming something has received "undue attention" implies it has been given more focus than deserved.
Tayyaba Rehman
Oct 14, 2023
In essence, while "undo" focuses on actions and their reversals, "undue" evaluates situations or things in terms of their appropriateness or proportionality. Recognizing these distinct usages helps in ensuring each word is employed accurately in context.
Tayyaba Rehman
Oct 14, 2023

Comparison Chart

Part of Speech

Verb
Adjective
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Oct 14, 2023
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Function

Reverses or nullifies actions
Describes something as excessive or inappropriate
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Oct 14, 2023

Examples

"Undo a mistake"
"Undue pressure"
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Derivatives

Undoing
Unduly
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Typical Usage

Relates to actions and their reversals
Evaluates in terms of appropriateness or proportionality
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Oct 14, 2023

Compare with Definitions

Undo

To decipher or solve.
It's a puzzle I can't undo.
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Oct 03, 2023

Undue

Not yet payable.
The bill is undue until next month.
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Oct 03, 2023

Undo

To reverse or nullify.
I need to undo my previous decision.
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Oct 03, 2023

Undue

Exceeding what is appropriate or normal.
They placed undue emphasis on the minor details.
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Oct 03, 2023

Undo

To open or untie.
Can you help me undo this knot?
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Oct 03, 2023

Undue

Unwarranted or inappropriate because excessive.
There's no need for undue concern.
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Oct 03, 2023

Undo

To remove the binding or wrapping of.
Undo the package to see its contents.
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Oct 03, 2023

Undue

Beyond the acceptable limit.
The project faced undue delays.
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Oct 03, 2023

Undo

Undo is an interaction technique which is implemented in many computer programs. It erases the last change done to the document, reverting it to an older state.
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Apr 10, 2022

Undue

Excessive in degree or intensity.
He faced undue hardship during the trial.
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Oct 03, 2023

Undo

To reverse or erase; annul
Impossible to undo the suffering caused by the war.
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Apr 10, 2022

Undue

Exceeding what is appropriate or normal; excessive
"I was grateful, without showing undue excitement" (Katherine Mansfield).
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Apr 10, 2022

Undo

To untie, disassemble, or loosen
Undo a shoelace.
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Apr 10, 2022

Undue

Not just, proper, or legal
Undue use of force.
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Apr 10, 2022

Undo

To open (a parcel, for example); unwrap.
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Apr 10, 2022

Undue

Excessive; going beyond that what is natural or sufficient.
To individuals who despise killings in any form, death penalty is undue punishment.
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Apr 10, 2022

Undo

To cause the ruin or downfall of; destroy.
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Apr 10, 2022

Undue

That which ought not to be done; illegal; unjustified.
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Apr 10, 2022

Undo

To throw into confusion; unsettle.
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Apr 10, 2022

Undue

(of a payment etc) Not owing or payable.
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Apr 10, 2022

Undo

To come open or unfastened.
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Apr 10, 2022

Undue

Not due; not yet owing; as, an undue debt, note, or bond.
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Apr 10, 2022

Undo

To reverse the effects of an action.
Fortunately, we can undo most of the damage to the system by the war.
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Apr 10, 2022

Undue

Not right; not lawful or legal; improper; as, an undue proceeding.
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Apr 10, 2022

Undo

To unfasten.
Could you undo my buckle for me?
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Apr 10, 2022

Undue

Not agreeable to a rule or standard, or to duty; disproportioned; excessive; immoderate; inordinate; as, an undue attachment to forms; an undue rigor in the execution of law.
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Apr 10, 2022

Undo

(figuratively) To impoverish or ruin, as in reputation; to cause the downfall of.
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Apr 10, 2022

Undue

Not yet payable;
An undue loan
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Apr 10, 2022

Undo

(computing) An operation that reverses a previous action.
How many undos does this program support?
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Apr 10, 2022

Undue

Not appropriate or proper (or even legal) in the circumstances;
Undue influence
I didn't want to show undue excitement
Accused of using undue force
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Apr 10, 2022

Undo

To reverse, as what has been done; to annul; to bring to naught.
What's done can not be undone.
To-morrow, ere the setting sun,She 'd all undo that she had done.
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Apr 10, 2022

Undue

Lacking justification or authorization;
Unreasonable searches and seizures
Desire for undue private profit
Unwarranted limitations of personal freedom
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Apr 10, 2022

Undo

To loose; to open; to take to piece; to unfasten; to untie; hence, to unravel; to solve; as, to undo a knot; to undo a puzzling question; to undo a riddle.
Pray you, undo this button.
She took the spindle, and undoing the thread gradually, measured it.
Tayyaba Rehman
Apr 10, 2022

Undue

Beyond normal limits;
Excessive charges
A book of inordinate length
His dress stops just short of undue elegance
Unreasonable demands
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Apr 10, 2022

Undo

To bring to poverty; to impoverish; to ruin, as in reputation, morals, hopes, or the like; as, many are undone by unavoidable losses, but more undo themselves by vices and dissipation, or by indolence.
That quaffing and drinking will undo you,
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Apr 10, 2022

Undo

Cancel, annul, or reverse an action or its effect;
I wish I could undo my actions
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Apr 10, 2022

Undo

Deprive of certain characteristics
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Apr 10, 2022

Undo

Cause the ruin or downfall of;
A single mistake undid the President and he had to resign
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Apr 10, 2022

Undo

Cause to become loose;
Undo the shoelace
Untie the knot
Loosen the necktie
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Apr 10, 2022

Undo

Remove the outer cover or wrapping of;
Let's unwrap the gifts!
Undo the parcel
Tayyaba Rehman
Apr 10, 2022

Undo

To ruin or destroy.
One mistake can undo years of trust.
Tayyaba Rehman
Oct 03, 2023

Common Curiosities

Can "undo" relate to digital actions?

Yes, in digital platforms, "undo" often allows users to reverse their last action.
Tayyaba Rehman
Oct 14, 2023

What does "undue" describe?

"Undue" describes something as excessive, unwarranted, or inappropriate.
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Oct 14, 2023

If I reverse a decision, can I say I "undid" it?

Yes, "undid" is the past tense of "undo."
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Oct 14, 2023

Does "undue" always indicate something negative?

Typically, "undue" indicates something excessive or beyond what's considered reasonable.
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Oct 14, 2023

Can I use "undo" to refer to opening something?

Yes, like "undoing" a button or a package.
Tayyaba Rehman
Oct 14, 2023

Is "undo" an adjective or a verb?

"Undo" is primarily a verb.
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Oct 14, 2023

How can I use "undue" in the context of attention?

You can say something like, "The topic received undue attention."
Tayyaba Rehman
Oct 14, 2023

Is "undoing" a noun form of "undo"?

Yes, "undoing" can refer to a cause of ruin or downfall.
Tayyaba Rehman
Oct 14, 2023

What does "unduly" mean?

"Unduly" is an adverb meaning excessively or inappropriately.
Tayyaba Rehman
Oct 14, 2023

What's the opposite of "undo" in a digital context?

The opposite is often "redo."
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Oct 14, 2023

Can "undue" refer to something not yet payable?

Yes, as in a bill that's "undue."
Tayyaba Rehman
Oct 14, 2023

If something is given more importance than necessary, is it "undue"?

Yes, you can say it was given "undue importance."
Tayyaba Rehman
Oct 14, 2023

Are "undo" and "undue" related etymologically?

No, despite their similar spellings, they have different origins and meanings.
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Oct 14, 2023

Is "undo" always about negative actions?

Not always. While it often refers to reversing mistakes, it can also mean simply reversing any action, positive or negative.
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Oct 14, 2023

Can I use "undo" in the context of solving a problem?

Yes, like "undoing" a riddle or puzzle.
Tayyaba Rehman
Oct 14, 2023

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Author Spotlight

Written by
Tayyaba Rehman
Tayyaba Rehman is a distinguished writer, currently serving as a primary contributor to askdifference.com. As a researcher in semantics and etymology, Tayyaba's passion for the complexity of languages and their distinctions has found a perfect home on the platform. Tayyaba delves into the intricacies of language, distinguishing between commonly confused words and phrases, thereby providing clarity for readers worldwide.

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