Definition of undertow in English:


Syllabification: un·der·tow
Pronunciation: /ˈəndərˌtō


  • 1 another term for rip current, used in the incorrect belief that rip currents drag swimmers below the surface. I was swept away by the undertow
    More example sentences
    • There's been a high undertow and rip currents there.
    • It was far away, almost out of sight, and the undertow threatened to pull her down at any moment.
    • It was like a flood, like being trapped in the undertow of a tsunami.
  • 1.1An implicit quality, emotion, or influence underlying the superficial aspects of something and leaving a particular impression: there’s a dark undertow of loss that links the novel with earlier works
    More example sentences
    • There is a dark undertow to the book.
    • Unhappily for your daughter, she is in the undertow of abuse, loss, and possibly guilt.
    • Amid the laughter, the melodrama and hysteria, this is a play with a terrible, almost frightening undertow of sadness and helplessness.

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Word of the day coloratura
Pronunciation: ˌkələrəˈto͝orə
elaborate ornamentation of a vocal melody