Definition of underground in English:

Share this entry



Pronunciation: /ʌndəˈɡraʊnd/
1Beneath the surface of the ground: miners working underground
More example sentences
  • Rescue operations can be lengthy and often members spend hours underground and on the surface in cold and wet conditions.
  • It develops its root system for about ten years underground before it surfaces.
  • The tunnelling will take place so deep underground that nobody will hear it on the surface.
below ground, below the surface, under the earth, in the earth
1.1In or into secrecy or hiding, especially as a result of carrying out subversive political activities: many were forced to go underground by the government
More example sentences
  • You know, just in case I might really need to go underground some day.
  • Once we decided to go underground we had to find money and food and the means to carry out the actions.
  • The state, like much of the nation as a whole, had a long history of underground industrial activity, especially in times of civil and military conflict.
into hiding, into secrecy, into seclusion, undercover, behind closed doors, out of sight


Pronunciation: /ˈʌndəɡraʊnd/
1Situated beneath the surface of the ground: an underground car park
More example sentences
  • It's proposed to extend the existing car park and to provide underground car parking beneath the rear of the cinema.
  • Suddenly, with a terrific roar that shook the ground, the underground tank beneath the gas pumps exploded.
  • It has been reveal that plans for an underground bus park, beneath the current bingo hall, is one of the options currently in the melting pot.
1.1Relating to or denoting the secret activities of people working to subvert an established order: Czech underground literature
More example sentences
  • He became an underground activist when he was a 20 year old student.
  • The reality is that, before decriminalisation, most of the activity was underground, outside the law, and not counted.
  • He even argued with anarchist friends for the establishment of an underground organisation to continue illegal anti-war propaganda once conflict broke out.
clandestine, secret, surreptitious, covert, undercover, private, confidential, closet, hole-and-corner, cloak-and-dagger, hugger-mugger, back-alley, backstair, stealthy, conspiratorial, concealed, hidden, shrouded;
sneaky, sly, underhand, shifty, furtive;
resistance, subversive, guerrilla, mercenary, revolutionary, rebellious, dissident, insurgent, insurrectionary, renegade, mutinous;
Military  black
informal hush-hush
1.2Relating to or denoting a group or movement seeking to explore alternative forms of lifestyle or artistic expression; radical and experimental: the New York underground art scene
More example sentences
  • The subject matter, style and revolutionary nature of the underground art scene of the 60's would forever change the media of the future generations.
  • He writes about the alternative music scene for an underground magazine, and hangs out with the likes of rappers and punk bands.
  • Waters managed to get his films screened in New York, where they soon became mandatory viewing for those in the underground art scene.
alternative, radical, revolutionary, unconventional, unorthodox, avant-garde, experimental, innovative, groundbreaking, pioneering, novel;


Pronunciation: /ˈʌndəɡraʊnd/
1 (often the Underground) British An underground railway, especially the one in London: travel chaos on the Underground
More example sentences
  • The Undergrounds were packed like canned sardines.
  • In Camden Town, I'll meet you by the Underground.
  • I then got the Underground and the train to Westcliff.
underground railway, metro;
North American  subway
British informal tube
2A group or movement organized secretly to work against an existing regime: the French underground
More example sentences
  • She got involved in the socialist underground, producing leaflets and intervening in strikes.
  • Activists are aiming to build on the general feeling over the issue to get support across the underground for the dispute.
  • The solidarity of the underground was deeper than the fear of secret police my countrymen shared.
2.1A group or movement seeking to explore alternative forms of lifestyle or artistic expression: the late sixties underground
More example sentences
  • The mad collision of cultures and styles found in these tracks represents the alternative underground's resistance to that conservatism.
  • There is a world of information being shared digitally however in the latest revolutionary attempt by the artistic and literary underground.
  • The California underground has long been a breeding ground for forward-thinking hip-hop.


[with object]
Lay (cables) below ground level: sections of electricity line had been undergrounded (as noun undergrounding) the environment secretary ordered the undergrounding of cables
More example sentences
  • The City of Laguna is undergrounding all the ugly wires and utility poles.

Words that rhyme with underground

abound, aground, around, astound, bound, compound, confound, dumbfound, expound, found, ground, hound, impound, interwound, mound, pound, profound, propound, redound, round, sound, stoneground, surround, theatre-in-the-round (US theater-in-the-round), wound

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: under|ground

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.