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beneath

[ bih-neeth, -neeth ]
/ bɪˈniθ, -ˈnið /
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adverb

below; in or to a lower place, position, state, or the like.
underneath: heaven above and the earth beneath.

preposition

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Origin of beneath

before 900; Middle English benethe,Old English beneothan, equivalent to be-be- + neothan below, akin to Old High German nidana.See nether

synonym study for beneath

3. See below.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

VOCAB BUILDER

What is a basic definition of beneath?

Beneath is a preposition that means below or under. Beneath can also describe something that is unworthy of someone. Less commonly, beneath is used as an adverb to mean below or underneath.

If something is positioned beneath something else, it is under or below it. Beneath is not used as often as words such as below or under. Beneath is most often used when describing a location underground or underneath a surface. In a similar sense, beneath can mean something is lower or farther down than something else.

  • Real-life examples: You can stand beneath an umbrella to keep the rain off you. The G key is beneath the T key on a typical QWERTY keyboard.
  • Used in a sentence: The pirate treasure was buried in the sand beneath two palm trees.

Beneath can also describe something that is considered unworthy of someone or their dignity.

  • Used in a sentence: My rich aunt thinks that shopping at a grocery store is beneath her.

Beneath can also be used as an adverb to describe something as happening below or underneath something.

  • Used in a sentence: The dojo master sat on the upper balcony and watched his students training beneath. 

Where does beneath come from?

The first records of beneath come from before 900. It ultimately comes from the Old English beneothan.

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What are some synonyms for beneath?

What are some words that often get used in discussing beneath?

How is beneath used in real life?

Beneath is not used as often as other prepositions. It is used to mean “below” or “under.”

Try using beneath!

Is beneath used correctly in the following sentence?

I bent down to see if I left my suitcase beneath the table.

How to use beneath in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for beneath

beneath
/ (bɪˈniːθ) /

preposition

below, esp if covered, protected, or obscured by
not as great or good as would be demanded bybeneath his dignity

adverb

below; underneath

Word Origin for beneath

Old English beneothan, from be- + neothan low; see nether
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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