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2017 Word of the Year

underground

[adverb, uhn-der-ground; adjective, noun, verb uhn-der-ground] /adverb, ˈʌn dərˈgraʊnd; adjective, noun, verb ˈʌn dərˌgraʊnd/
adverb
1.
beneath the surface of the ground:
traveling underground by subway.
2.
in concealment or secrecy; not openly:
subversion carried on underground.
adjective
3.
existing, situated, operating, or taking place beneath the surface of the ground.
4.
used, or for use, underground.
5.
hidden or secret; not open:
underground political activities.
6.
published or produced by political or social radicals or nonconformists:
an underground newspaper.
7.
avant-garde; experimental:
an underground movie.
8.
critical of or attacking the established society or system:
underground opinion.
9.
of or for nonconformists; unusual:
an underground vegetarian restaurant.
noun
10.
the place or region beneath the surface of the ground.
11.
an underground space or passage.
12.
a secret organization fighting the established government or occupation forces:
He fought in the French underground during the Nazi occupation of France.
13.
(often initial capital letter) a movement or group existing outside the establishment and usually reflecting unorthodox, avant-garde, or radical views.
14.
Chiefly British. a subway system.
verb (used with object)
15.
to place beneath the surface of the ground:
to underground utility lines.
Origin of underground
1565-1575
First recorded in 1565-75; under- + ground1
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for underground
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • A rude ladder was the usual mode of entrance into these underground dwellings.

    English Villages P. H. Ditchfield
  • The five lowest levels were underground and all were labelled "Mineral Industries."

    City of Endless Night Milo Hastings
  • There, in his underground realm, she reigns all the cold winter months.

    Classic Myths Mary Catherine Judd
  • Life, life, everywhere, and seemingly this underground world was endless.

    Two Thousand Miles Below Charles Willard Diffin
  • The lanes of this underground village were still fast asleep.

British Dictionary definitions for underground

underground

adjective (ˈʌndəˌɡraʊnd)
1.
occurring, situated, or used below ground level: an underground tunnel, an underground explosion
2.
secret; hidden: underground activities
adverb (ˌʌndəˈɡraʊnd)
3.
going below ground level: the tunnel led underground
4.
into hiding or secrecy: the group was driven underground
noun (ˈʌndəˌɡraʊnd)
5.
a space or region below ground level
6.
  1. a movement dedicated to overthrowing a government or occupation forces, as in the European countries occupied by the German army in World War II
  2. (as modifier): an underground group
7.
the underground, an electric passenger railway operated in underground tunnels US and Canadian equivalent subway
8.
(usually preceded by the)
  1. any avant-garde, experimental, or subversive movement in popular art, films, music, etc
  2. (as modifier): the underground press, underground music
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 underground
adv.

1570s, "below the surface," from under + ground (n.). As an adjective, attested from c.1600; figurative sense of "hidden, secret" is attested from 1630s; adjectival meaning "subculture" is from 1953, from World War II application to resistance movements against German occupation, on analogy of the dominant culture and Nazis. Noun sense of "underground railway" is from 1887 (shortened from phrase underground railway, itself attested from 1834).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for underground

underground

adjective

  1. Apart from and opposed to conventional society; esp, advocating and representing the hippie and narcotics subculture: The Voice started as a sort of underground newspaper (1953+)
  2. In hiding; concealing one's identity and whereabouts, esp to escape arrest (1820+)
The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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Nearby words for underground

Word Value for underground

14
19
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