Share this entry

Share this page

undercurrent

Syllabification: un·der·cur·rent
Pronunciation: /ˈəndərˌkərənt
 
/

Definition of undercurrent in English:

noun

1An underlying feeling or influence, especially one that is contrary to the prevailing atmosphere and is not expressed openly: an undercurrent of anger and discontent
More example sentences
  • The buoyant mood of his audience was certainly out of kilter with the deep undercurrent of frustration evident elsewhere in Bournemouth this week.
  • As Stephen becomes reluctantly drawn into the lives of his rural neighbours, he becomes a witness to the undercurrents of love, hate and obsession that swirl beneath the superficial tranquillity of the countryside.
  • The artists' chain of contrasting attitudes reveals debates within society, undercurrents of unrest and anxieties about city life.
Synonyms
undertone, overtone, suggestion, connotation, intimation, hint, nuance, trace, suspicion, whisper, tinge;
feeling, atmosphere, aura, echo
informal vibes
2A current of water below the surface, moving in a different direction from any surface current.
Example sentences
  • In tidal water the undercurrents may often be going in the opposite direction to the top flow.
  • However, waves generated in deep offshore waters that eventually overtop in shallower water and break on the coast, creating a surf-zone with reversing undercurrents, are fundamentally different from the waves in shallow lakes.
  • The tides and undercurrents are notorious, and even in summer bathing is not recommended.
Synonyms
undertow, underflow;
riptide

Definition of undercurrent in:

Share this entry

Share this page

 

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

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

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove ads and access premium resources

Word of the day terpsichorean
Pronunciation: ˌtərpsikəˈrēən
adjective
of or relating to dancing