neth·​er·​world | \ ˈne-t͟hər-ˌwərld How to pronounce netherworld (audio) \

Definition of netherworld

1 : the world of the dead
2 : underworld sense 4 the netherworld of deceit … and espionage— R. M. Nixon
3 : no-man's-land sense 2 lost in a bureaucratic netherworld

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Examples of netherworld in a Sentence

the shadowy netherworld of all-night raves
Recent Examples on the Web Wetness and warmth somehow lurked below, offering the possibility for microbial life to arise and thrive—and the plumes were a window into that netherworld. Lee Billings, Scientific American, "Cassini’s “Grand Finale” Will Be a Blaze of Glory," 14 Sep. 2017 So does Foxx’s voice, giving vivid form and feeling to an avatar of the netherworld. Justin Chang Film Critic, Los Angeles Times, "Review: It’s not quite ‘Inside Out,’ but Pixar’s metaphysical comedy ‘Soul’ will lift your spirits," 22 Dec. 2020 Having been passed over by every team in the draft, Eubanks signed a two-way deal — a hybrid contract that rests in the netherworld somewhere between an NBA and G League deal — with the Spurs. Jeff Mcdonald,, "The ace is at home: How the Spurs’ Drew Eubanks went from baseball prospect to NBA contract," 30 Nov. 2020 Yet Posey lived in a netherworld between free and unfree. Washington Post, "George Washington’s 1795 Thanksgiving celebrated liberty. But the chef behind the feast had none.," 19 Nov. 2020 Sure, October exists in that netherworld sandwiched between the excitement of the early-fall opener and the November rut. Scott Bestul, Field & Stream, "The Best Bucks of October 2020," 12 Nov. 2020 The killing occurred in such a netherworld of geopolitical intrigue and counterterrorism spycraft that Mr. al-Masri’s death had been rumored but never confirmed until now. Adam Goldman, New York Times, "Al Qaeda’s No. 2, Accused in U.S. Embassy Attacks, Was Killed in Iran," 13 Nov. 2020 That the Bay Area has nothing in common with the rest of Northern California, much less the netherworld of Los Angeles and its sprawling neighbors. John King,, "California is terrible at fixing large problems. But the climate emergency and housing crisis require big thinking," 21 Sep. 2020 Winn is stuck in a netherworld in baseball’s makeshift season. Dallas News, "Rangers prospect Cole Winn is stuck in a netherworld in baseball’s makeshift season," 31 July 2020

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

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First Known Use of netherworld

1632, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for netherworld

Time Traveler

The first known use of netherworld was in 1632

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Statistics for netherworld

Last Updated

1 Mar 2021

Cite this Entry

“Netherworld.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Mar. 2021.

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English Language Learners Definition of netherworld

literary : the world of the dead
: a place unknown to most people where secret and often illegal things are done

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