be·​neath | \ bi-ˈnēth How to pronounce beneath (audio) , bē- \

Definition of beneath

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : in or to a lower position : below the mountains and the towns beneath
2 : directly under : underneath Look at the illustration and read what is beneath.



Definition of beneath (Entry 2 of 2)

1a : in or to a lower position than : below beneath the surface
b : directly under the ground beneath her feet
c : at the foot of a camp beneath a hill
2 : not suitable to the rank of : unworthy of a job that is beneath his dignity
3 : under the control, pressure, or influence of the chair sagged beneath his weight
4 : concealed by : under the guise of a warm heart beneath a gruff manner

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms & Antonyms for beneath

Synonyms: Adverb

Synonyms: Preposition

Antonyms: Adverb

Antonyms: Preposition

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of beneath in a Sentence

Adverb the mountains and the towns beneath the sky above and the earth beneath an awning with chairs and tables beneath The ground beneath is covered with flowers. Preposition the sky above us and the earth beneath us just beneath the surface of the water The painting is hanging on the wall with a plaque beneath it. We had a picnic beneath a large tree. The paper was hidden beneath a pile of books. She wore a sweater beneath her coat.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb It is known as the Bridge Tender’s House and was built in 1884 for the person who would operate the mechanism to open the bridge span to allow river traffic to pass beneath. Kelly Kazek |, al, "Stay overnight in historic Selma Bridge Tender’s House," 19 Mar. 2021 Slick, skinless flesh — tender peach washed with tart lemon and hot honey — spooned against the curve of my palate, disintegrating into the bed of Roquefort funk beneath., "Arugula doesn’t make you elitist, it just makes your salad better," 18 Mar. 2021 Jake warned her the old farmhouse didn't have much to it, particularly its nondescript bedrooms upstairs and the unfinished basement beneath. Nathan Mattise, Ars Technica, "I’m Thinking of Ending Things," 7 Sep. 2020 The protective layer is at the top, with the UTG layer just beneath. Courtney Linder, Popular Mechanics, "Samsung Is Still Trying to Make Folding Phones Happen," 5 Aug. 2020 As the tsunami progressed, the rocks scraped along solid ground beneath. Nola Taylor Redd, Smithsonian Magazine, "Mars Had Landslide-Powered Tsunamis That Put Earth’s Mega-Waves to Shame," 10 July 2020 An American flag hanging overhead has been lit on fire by the candle beneath. Elizabeth Wells And Alicia Lee, CNN, "Banksy shares new artwork supporting Black Lives Matter and says it's on white people to fix systemic racism," 7 June 2020 As if that weren’t enough, planetary scientists believe that a vast subsurface ocean of water and ammonia rests beneath all of these features, rendering Titan—along with Europa and Enceladus—a potential candidate for finding some form of life. Jennifer Leman, Popular Mechanics, "Every Moon in Our Solar System, Ranked," 7 Apr. 2020 Pin It, Steam It, Stitch It The corners were darted to make the curved corners smooth while quilting pins were used to keep everything in place while folding the unfinished edges beneath and ironing to get the material to lay flat and smooth. Eric Hockman, Sunset Magazine, "Sewing for Beginners: How I Made Waxed Canvas Window Covers For My Camper," 30 Apr. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Preposition Few who watched Darnella Frazier's video will ever forget the horrendously cruel way Floyd died — pinned beneath a cop's knee while begging for his mother, his breath and his life. Editorial Board, Star Tribune, "A verdict that must change America," 20 Apr. 2021 Their outrage made the policeman feel threatened and distracted him from properly tending to the man beneath his knee. Los Angeles Times, "Column: Derek Chauvin’s race-baiting defense is rooted in centuries-old stereotypes," 3 Apr. 2021 The video, directed by Bobby Hanaford, captures the mood of the song, with Ramos and Barrera playing out a passionate romance while a darker heartbreak seems to lurk beneath. Jon Blistein, Rolling Stone, "Anthony Ramos Taps ‘In the Heights’ Co-Star Melissa Barrera for ‘Say Less’ Video," 2 Apr. 2021 Looming over everything is the death of George Floyd, the Minneapolis man pinned beneath the knee of a former police officer whose trial began this week. Rachel Swan, San Francisco Chronicle, "Can California's new AG, lawmakers do anything to stop anti-Asian violence?," 1 Apr. 2021 The sacred intersection where George Floyd died beneath the knee of a police officer has seen such an increase in violence that food delivery drivers are afraid to venture there. New York Times, "Ten Months After George Floyd’s Death, Minneapolis Residents Are at War Over Policing," 28 Mar. 2021 And while most in the industry have stepped up to clear the waste beneath their feet, not enough are tending to the vines that remain overhead, choking out the sun, always ready to release their overgrowth onto the masses below. Andrea Williams, Vulture, "Morgan Wallen Is Exactly What Country Music Wanted … Now What?," 4 Feb. 2021 If we are lost in the promised land, perhaps it’s because the ground has never quite seemed solid beneath our feet. Karla Cornejo Villavicencio, The New Yorker, "Waking Up from the American Dream," 18 Jan. 2021 May 25 death beneath the knee of a Minneapolis cop, served as an electrifying motivational soundtrack for the protests that erupted in the tragedy's wake. Billboard Staff, Billboard, "The 50 Best Albums of 2020: Staff Picks," 7 Dec. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'beneath.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of beneath


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for beneath

Adverb and Preposition

Middle English benethe, from Old English beneothan, from be- + neothan below; akin to Old English nithera nether — more at nether

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about beneath

Time Traveler for beneath

Time Traveler

The first known use of beneath was before the 12th century

See more words from the same century

Statistics for beneath

Last Updated

24 Mar 2021

Cite this Entry

“Beneath.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 10 May. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for beneath



English Language Learners Definition of beneath

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: in or to a lower position



English Language Learners Definition of beneath (Entry 2 of 2)

: in or to a lower position than (something or someone)
: directly under (something or someone)
: not worthy of (someone) : not good enough for (someone)


be·​neath | \ bi-ˈnēth How to pronounce beneath (audio) \

Kids Definition of beneath

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : in a lower place the mountains and the town beneath
2 : directly under Look at the picture and read what is beneath.



Kids Definition of beneath (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : in or to a lower position than : below The sun sank beneath the horizon.
2 : directly under (something or someone) the ground beneath our feet
3 : not worthy of She thinks this work is beneath her.

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on beneath

What made you want to look up beneath? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


Test Your Vocabulary

Star Wars Words Quiz

  • cu jedi training
  • The bounty portion of bounty hunters (such as Boba Fett) comes from a Latin word meaning
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!