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From Middle English undernethe, undernethen, from Old English underneoþan (underneath), ultimately from Proto-Germanic *underniþer.



underneath (not comparable)

  1. Below; in a place beneath.
    (Can we add an example for this sense?)
    • 1825, Isaac Taylor, Scenes of British Wealth: In Produce, Manufactures, and Commerce, for the Amusement and Instruction of Little Tarry At-home Travellers[1]:
      connected with it underneath, you see a very fine hair-spring.
  2. On the underside or lower face.
    (Can we add an example for this sense?)
    • 1832, Georges Cuvier, Edward Griffith, transl.; Georges Cuvier, Edward Pidgeon, Edward Griffith, editors, The Animal Kingdom: Arranged in Conformity with Its Organization[2], volume 14, published 2012, →ISBN:
      No insects exhibit, like them, what may be termed four net-work eyes. It is very easy to perceive them in looking at the animal from above, and then examining it underneath




  1. Under, below, beneath.
    Underneath the water, all was calm.
    We flew underneath the bridge.
    We looked underneath the table.
  2. Under the control or power of.
    There was little freedom underneath the jackboot.



underneath (not comparable)

  1. Under, lower.
    You can have the underneath bunk.



underneath (usually uncountable, plural underneaths)

  1. The lower surface or part of something.
    The underneath of the aircraft was painted blue.
    • 1938, Xavier Herbert, Capricornia, Chapter V, p. 64, [3]
      Nawnim yelped, heaved away, struck his head on the underneath of the bed, and rolled into view bawling.
    • 2002, Mary Ann Caws, Surrealist Painters and Poets: An Anthology[4], page 229:
      It was a monolith of a golden color, opening at its base on to a cavern: its underneath was hollowed out by water.
    • 2010, Molly Brodak, A Little Middle of the Night[5], page 13:
      I have been looking for an underneath I couldn't see.
    • (Can we date this quote?), Nigella Lawson year=2011, Nigella Express: Good Food Fast[6]:
      they harden up a little as they cool, and they should be damp within; that's what makes them chewy, so don't worry that the underneaths of the macaroons look sticky.
  2. A background radio sound track played during a specific announcement or program.
    • 2009, Jay Trachtenberg (radio host), KUT-FM Radio, Austin, Texas, 17 Dec.:
      The underneath is music from the latest album by [...].



  • underneath at OneLook Dictionary Search
  • underneath in The Century Dictionary, The Century Co., New York, 1911