undercurrent

[ uhn-der-kur-uh nt, -kuhr- ]
/ ˈʌn dərˌkɜr ənt, -ˌkʌr- /

noun

a tendency underlying or at variance with the obvious or superficial significance of words, actions, etc.: Even in his friendliest remarks, one could sense an undercurrent of hostility.
a current, as of air or water, that flows below the upper currents or surface.

Origin of undercurrent

First recorded in 1675–85; under- + current
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Examples from the Web for undercurrent

British Dictionary definitions for undercurrent

undercurrent
/ (ˈʌndəˌkʌrənt) /

noun

a current that is not apparent at the surface or lies beneath another current
an opinion, emotion, etc, lying beneath apparent feeling or meaning
Also called: underflow
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