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:help undercurl states:

"undercurl" is a curly underline. When "undercurl" is not possible then "underline" is used. In general "undercurl" and "strikethrough" is only available in the GUI.

But if I run Vim with vim --clean and then issue the following commands, then the text curl is not highlighted in any way:

:hi Curl cterm=undercurl
:match Curl /curl/

However, if I change undercurl to underline, then curl is now underlined:

:hi Curl cterm=underline

Is the documentation wrong? Or am I just misinterpreting it?*

Or is the problem that Vim thinks that undercurl is possible and is therefore (unsuccessfully) attempting to use it? If this is the case, then what causes this? :set t_Cs? and :set t_Ce? both report that the settings are not set:

t_Cs=
t_Ce=

I'm running Vim 8.0.1420 inside iTerm2 v3.2.6 on macOS.

* It could be read to mean that there are some circumstances when undercurl is available but isn't possible and only in those cases will it be replaced with an underline.

1

Looks like this is just a bug, which was fixed just after the version I'm using, in patch 8.0.1422.

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