[bih-neeth, -neeth]


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


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

3. See below.

Antonyms for beneath

1. above. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for beneath

below, underneath, lesser, subject, subordinate, under

Examples from the Web for beneath

Contemporary Examples of beneath

Historical Examples of beneath

  • He crumpled the poster and inserted it beneath the lid of his iron stove.

  • Beneath were the illustrious dead; around were the illustrious living.

    The Grand Old Man

    Richard B. Cook

  • Beneath the car of this Juggernaut we must flout our judgments and crush our affections.

  • So far as he could determine, she: had not even sunk once beneath the surface.

    Within the Law

    Marvin Dana

  • Just beneath where she sat two men were having a most energetic duel of words.


    W. A. Fraser

British Dictionary definitions for beneath



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


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

Word Origin and History for beneath
adv., adj.

Old English beneoðan "beneath, under, below," from be- "by" + neoðan "below," originally "from below," from Proto-Germanic *niþar "lower, farther down, down" (see nether). Meaning "unworthy of" is attested from 1849 (purists prefer below in this sense). "The be- gave or emphasized the notion of 'where,' excluding that of 'whence' pertaining to the simple niðan" [OED].

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper