beneath

1 of 2

adverb

be·​neath bi-ˈnēth How to pronounce beneath (audio)
bē-
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.

beneath

2 of 2

preposition

1
a
: 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

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
However, the ice breaks, and the things that lie beneath will come to light. Meredith Blake, Los Angeles Times, 19 Feb. 2024 It’s echoed in the circular sofas beneath and a small circular games table forward. Julia Zaltzman, Robb Report, 20 Oct. 2023 The front and back of the speaker sport perforated metallic grilles, with cloth grilles beneath. PCMAG, 6 Feb. 2024 This dissonance between the veneer of refinement and the sinister forces pulsing beneath has become especially stark in recent decades, as the United Kingdom, stripped of its empire, has found a new role as a commodious base for global kleptocrats. Patrick Radden Keefe, The New Yorker, 5 Feb. 2024 Because the seats are genuine leather, after consistent use, expect the leather to settle and reveal impressions of the brass frame beneath. Addie Morton, Better Homes & Gardens, 17 Jan. 2024 Director Bryce McGuire has crafted a slow-stroking take on an old horror standby, the return of the repressed, using the family pool as a metaphor for masking what lies beneath. Chris Vognar, Rolling Stone, 5 Jan. 2024 This rose gold color job maintained and enhanced the natural brown color beneath. Mary Shannon Wells, Southern Living, 3 Jan. 2024 Subsequent sifting of data of the Cassini mission, which ended in 2017, has only added to the curiosity of what lies beneath. Kenneth Chang, New York Times, 14 Dec. 2023
Preposition
Hit play on the player below to hear the podcast and follow along with the transcript beneath it. Dana Taylor, USA TODAY, 23 Feb. 2024 People may be unknowingly exposed to dangerous levels of radiation from coal ash used in their yards, under their homes, beneath roads and even in public areas including parks, playgrounds and schools. Sarah Bowman, The Indianapolis Star, 23 Feb. 2024 The applications listed as potential water sources the aquifers beneath Black Mesa and the Colorado and San Juan rivers. The Arizona Republic, 23 Feb. 2024 There are columns of flavors listed beneath the meats: jerk, teriyaki, curry, lemon pepper, piña colada, blueberry with blue cheese, tequila chili lime, raspberry chipotle, Hawaiian. Danielle Dorsey, Los Angeles Times, 22 Feb. 2024 In June 2023, for instance, Nanook was heading home across the frozen ocean after an ice fishing trip when a rift appeared to open in the ice beneath one of her sled’s runners. Hannah Hoag, Smithsonian Magazine, 22 Feb. 2024 Enormous mirrors built in a university lab beneath the football bleachers are used to peer into the deepest corners of space. Jack Healy, New York Times, 21 Feb. 2024 The winning photo will be on display until June 30 at London’s Natural History Museum, along with finalist images showcasing a sweet moment of lion parenting and glowing moon jellyfish beneath the northern lights. Ashley Strickland, CNN, 10 Feb. 2024 Many Del Mar residents are pushing for a route that would avoid going beneath homes by taking trains across the state fairgrounds and along Interstate 5. Phil Diehl, San Diego Union-Tribune, 10 Feb. 2024 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'beneath.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Adverb and Preposition

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

First Known Use

Adverb

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

Preposition

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

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

Dictionary Entries Near beneath

Cite this Entry

“Beneath.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/beneath. Accessed 3 Mar. 2024.

Kids Definition

beneath

1 of 2 adverb
be·​neath bi-ˈnēth How to pronounce beneath (audio)
: in or to a lower position : below

beneath

2 of 2 preposition
1
a
: lower than : below
b
: directly under
2
: not worthy of
work beneath your dignity

More from Merriam-Webster on beneath

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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