• synonyms


[uhn-der-neeth, -neeth]
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  1. below the surface or level of; directly or vertically beneath; at or on the bottom of.
  2. under the control of; in a lower position in a hierarchy of authority: Underneath the department heads are the junior executives.
  3. hidden, disguised, or misrepresented, as by a false appearance or pretense: Underneath his bluster is a timid nature.
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  1. below; at a lower level or position; on the underside.
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  1. lower; situated below or under.
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  1. the bottom; underside; lowest part.
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Origin of underneath

before 900; Middle English undernethe, Old English underneothan. See under, beneath
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for underneath

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • Wiglaf stabs the dragon from underneath, and Bewulf cuts it in two with his dagger.



  • The men were working at the breast of it, some underneath, some on top.

    The Forest

    Stewart Edward White

  • Once, he roused with a start and hastily got the axe out from underneath the lashings.

    White Fang

    Jack London

  • Underneath was printed "May be consulted gratis from ten to four."

  • Underneath is a stone platform, and on it the hideous elephant-god.

    Things as They Are

    Amy Wilson-Carmichael

British Dictionary definitions for underneath


preposition, adverb
  1. under; beneath
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  1. lower
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  1. a lower part, surface, etc
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Word Origin

Old English underneothan, from under + neothan below; related to Old Danish underneden; see beneath
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 underneath


Old English underneoðan, from under + neoðan "below" (see beneath).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper