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Alternative formsEdit


From Middle English benethe, from Old English beneoþan (beneath, under, below), from Proto-Germanic *bi + *niþanē (below), from Proto-Indo-European *ni-, *nei- (in, under). Cognate with Low German benedden (beneath), Dutch beneden (beneath, under, down), German benieden (below). Compare also Danish neden (below), Swedish and Icelandic neðan (below, under). See also nether.


  • IPA(key): /bɪˈniːθ/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -iːθ



  1. Below or underneath.
    • 2013 May 11, “The climate of Tibet: Pole-land”, in The Economist[1], volume 407, number 8835, page 80:
      Of all the transitions brought about on the Earth’s surface by temperature change, the melting of ice into water is the starkest. It is binary. And for the land beneath, the air above and the life around, it changes everything.




  1. Below.
    • (Can we date this quote?) William Shakespeare
      Our country sinks beneath the yoke.
    • (Can we date this quote?) Alexander Pope
      Beneath a rude and nameless stone he lies.
    • 1918, W. B. Maxwell, chapter 5, in The Mirror and the Lamp:
      Here, in the transept and choir, where the service was being held, one was conscious every moment of an increasing brightness; colours glowing vividly beneath the circular chandeliers, and the rows of small lights on the choristers' desks flashed and sparkled in front of the boys' faces, deep linen collars, and red neckbands.
  2. In a position that is lower in rank, dignity, etc.
  3. Covered up or concealed by something.