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2017 Word of the Year

subterranean

[suhb-tuh-rey-nee-uh n] /ˌsʌb təˈreɪ ni ən/
adjective, Also, subterraneous
1.
existing, situated, or operating below the surface of the earth; underground.
2.
existing or operating out of sight or secretly; hidden or secret.
noun
3.
a person or thing that is subterranean.
4.
a subterrane.
Origin of subterranean
1595-1605
1595-1605; < Latin subterrāne(us) (see subterrane) + -an
Related forms
subterraneanly, subterraneously, adverb
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for subterranean
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • We are like men in a subterranean cave, so chained that they can look only forward to the entrance.

    Philothea Lydia Maria Child
  • The subterranean creep throws a fit and belts me with four fists.

    Operation Earthworm Joe Archibald
  • Only in places was the subterranean river shallow and easy to wade.

    Out of the Depths

    Robert Ames Bennet
  • Humboldt says that they were cast up from subterranean sources.

    The Book of the Damned Charles Fort
  • Purdy did not hit for the subterranean hang-out of the gang.

    Prairie Flowers

    James B. Hendryx
  • There was always a trickle of information into headquarters by subterranean ways.

    The Grell Mystery Frank Froest
British Dictionary definitions for subterranean

subterranean

/ˌsʌbtəˈreɪnɪən/
adjective
1.
Also subterraneous, subterrestrial. situated, living, or operating below the surface of the earth
2.
existing or operating in concealment
Derived Forms
subterraneanly, subterraneously, adverb
Word Origin
C17: from Latin subterrāneus, from sub- + terra earth
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for subterranean
adj.

c.1600, from Latin subterraneus "underground," from sub "under" (see sub-) + terra "earth" (see terrain).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Word Value for subterranean

14
18
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