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

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 To check, turn the item over and remove a portion of the dust catcher beneath. Washington Post, 3 May 2022 Off came the house’s gutters and drain pipes, shutters and 1970s aluminum siding, revealing the original, century-old siding beneath. Laura Johnston, cleveland, 7 May 2022 There are few sites more picturesque than this: Surrounded by lush tropical Hawaiian flora, the residence is steps away from two natural waterfalls on either side that cascade into the ocean beneath. Emma Reynolds, Robb Report, 28 Feb. 2022 Zoë Kravitz holds the screen with her cool austerity, her impassive façade hinting at heavy anxieties just beneath. Owen Gleiberman, Variety, 9 Feb. 2022 The webcam is magnetically attached to a metal stand in order to give a top-down view of the paper beneath. Scharon Harding, Ars Technica, 15 Dec. 2021 Today, Lacefield writes, much of the fertile dark soil that gave the area its name has weathered away to the chalk bedrock beneath. Dennis Pillion |, al, 12 Nov. 2021 Blanco y Verde features a green on white color palette, while Amarillo Uno features cut outs on the yellow dial that reveal white beneath, along with a white Museum dot. Roberta Naas, Forbes, 6 Oct. 2021 Sun streams in on the surface of the desk and, as the trees stir lightly outside, their branches extend toward me, all the while spreading lattices of shadows on the ground beneath. San Diego Union-Tribune, 26 Sep. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Preposition Pooling onto the plate beneath, the bubbles rapidly extinguish in tiny bursts. Jenn Harriscolumnist, Los Angeles Times, 9 May 2022 Anderson had a whole volleyball court beneath his clothes. Maggie Menderski, The Courier-Journal, 27 Apr. 2022 Since joining the bureau, Passamaneck, the biologist, has led a project to uncover what lies beneath quagga DNA. Lindsey Botts, The Arizona Republic, 25 Apr. 2022 Its partner on this mission is a drone equipped with a laser scanner, which will fly its patrols above the site, scanning the ground beneath with lasers to map the ruins and the surrounding terrain. Kiona N. Smith, Ars Technica, 1 Apr. 2022 Waghma and Shakila hid the papers beneath their clothes as the family fled. Abigail Hauslohner, Anchorage Daily News, 29 Mar. 2022 Waghma and Shakila hid the papers beneath their clothes as the family fled. Washington Post, 29 Mar. 2022 Its reputation will undoubtedly spread via social media videos shot by awed visitors who linger beneath. Domenica Bongiovanni, The Indianapolis Star, 25 Mar. 2022 But beneath the program’s economic emphasis lies a deeply cultural, Wang-esque logic. Chang Che, The New Yorker, 21 Mar. 2022 See More

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.

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

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

Dictionary Entries Near beneath



beneath contempt

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for beneath

Last Updated

23 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Beneath.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 May. 2022.

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

More Definitions for beneath


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.

More from Merriam-Webster on beneath

Nglish: Translation of beneath for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of beneath for Arabic Speakers


Test Your Vocabulary

Name That Food

  • a-light
  • Name these cookies!
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

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!