Definition of underneath in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /ʌndəˈniːθ/

preposition& adverb

1Situated directly below (something else): [as preposition]: our bedroom’s right underneath theirs four names written underneath each other [as adverb]: his eyes were red-rimmed with black bags underneath [as adjective]: on longer hair, the underneath layers can be permed to give extra body
More example sentences
  • She was no longer hiding underneath her black hair and had showed her true colors during the auditions.
  • A girl wearing thick sunglasses with her hair tucked underneath a black hat pushed her way through the crowd.
  • He fetched a garbage bag from underneath the sink and, without entering the bedroom, handed it to her.
2So as to be concealed by (something else): [as preposition]: money changed hands underneath the table figurative underneath his aloof air, Nicky was a warm and open young man [as adverb]: paint was peeling off in flakes to reveal greyish plaster underneath
More example sentences
  • Mrs Webb said, ‘We used to pass notes underneath the table and that sort of thing, but when we left school we went our own ways.’
  • A silken blue cloth covered the old wooden table underneath.
  • He put layers of color one on top of another, concealing and revealing the colors underneath, making the process of covering transparent.
2.1Partly or wholly concealed by (a garment): [as preposition]: she could easily see the broadness of his shoulders underneath a tailored white sports shirt [as adverb]: undoing her jacket to reveal nothing but a bra underneath
More example sentences
  • His overshirt hung from his shoulders, underneath a broad white bandage bound tightly around his torso.
  • She was in cameo shorts and a white tank top, underneath her top her bra's outline was visible.
  • I watched her thin shoulders heave underneath the thin white fabric of her shirt.


[in singular]
The part or side of something facing towards the ground; the underside: a wart on the underneath of his foot
More example sentences
  • I searched every nook and cranny in the kitchen and larder, and examined the underneaths of tables and chairs in case Harry or Dolly had taken a liking to it as a rolly-toy.
  • They were leaving the car park at about 8.30 pm when they spotted a man trying to attract their attention, pointing to the underneath of the front of the car.
  • I flew beside him, taking giant strides so as not to fall, until we came upon the Jeep, from the underneath of which Johnny's feet poked out.


Old English underneothan; compare with beneath.

Words that rhyme with underneath

beneath, buck teeth, Hadith, heath, Keith, neath, Reith, teeth, Westmeath, wreath

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: under|neath

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.