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90s Slang You Should Know


[suhb-tuh-rey-nee-uh n] /ˌsʌb təˈreɪ ni ən/
adjective, Also, subterraneous
existing, situated, or operating below the surface of the earth; underground.
existing or operating out of sight or secretly; hidden or secret.
a person or thing that is subterranean.
a subterrane.
Origin of subterranean
1595-1605; < Latin subterrāne(us) (see subterrane) + -an
Related forms
subterraneanly, subterraneously, adverb 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
  • Mr. Robinson gives an excellent account, not only of the subterranean, but also of the open-air culture of mushrooms about Paris.

    Fungi: Their Nature and Uses Mordecai Cubitt Cooke
  • Cardinal Lorraine is said to have gone by this grewsome, subterranean passage.

    In Chteau Land Anne Hollingsworth Wharton
  • Has a ray of light penetrated into the subterranean gloom of your office?

    Comrade Yetta Albert Edwards
  • He at once announced that the house they were in had subterranean passages.

    The Son of Monte Christo Jules Lermina
  • By providing a subterranean channel for them, he saved them from the enemy and secured the water-supply of the besieged city.

    The Expositor's Bible F. W. Farrar
  • Other muscles, other minds, are pulling the island to its subterranean home.

    The Longest Journey E. M. Forster
British Dictionary definitions for subterranean


Also subterraneous, subterrestrial. situated, living, or operating below the surface of the earth
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

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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