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subcurrent

[ suhb-kur-uhnt, -kuhr- ]
/ ˈsʌbˌkɜr ənt, -ˌkʌr- /
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noun

a not clearly revealed or formulated direction of thought, intention, action, etc., underlying what is manifested: His words, though ostensibly friendly, betrayed a subcurrent of hostility.

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The rainy weather could not ________ my elated spirits on my graduation day.

Origin of subcurrent

First recorded in 1900–05; sub- + current
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021
  • The old myth of age to youth and the subcurrent of sin with its stalking, laughing, subtle Mephistopheles.

    The Blind Spot|Austin Hall
  • There was a subcurrent of excitement in her voice, and the night seemed to grow more still as she went on speaking.

    Sunlight Patch|Credo Fitch Harris
  • She talked volubly, and with just that pitch in her voice that betrays a subcurrent of excitement.

    Gordon Keith|Thomas Nelson Page
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